Employees' perceptions of human resource management practices and knowledge sharing behaviour : a dissertation presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in human resource manangement (HRM) at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The information age heralds the idea that the most important source of competitive advantage is knowledge. Therefore, organisations need to understand the value of knowledge; especially the knowledge that resides in the human brain (tacit knowledge) as an intangible asset along with other traditional tangible assets. The capability of an organisation is linked to the knowledge of its employees. Therefore, improving organisational and employees' capability are important goals for organisations. However, little progress has been made with many researchers primarily focusing on human capital development rather than on relationship capital using human resource management (HRM) practices in workplaces. Most of the knowledge management (KM) literature has discussed the antecedents of employees' knowledge-sharing. Future research is required to explore how these employees' knowledge sharing activities provide benefits to organisations and employees in terms of improved capability. To address this research gap in the literature, this thesis examines: first, the causative relationships between specific HRM practices and employees' knowledge sharing and second, the outcomes of knowledge sharing in terms of individual capability in workplaces. Based on previous research, a conceptual model is developed for the study and hypotheses are formulated. A total of 600 questionnaires were distributed to the employees of 19 organisations. Of these, 390 were useable questionnaires; thus resulting in 65% valid response rate. A final model is designed and this thesis used Confirmatory Factor Analysis to examine the causative relationships among the latent constructs of the final model. This thesis finds that collaborative HRM practices have a direct positive effect on employees' knowledge sharing behaviour. Surprisingly, this thesis finds that employees' knowledge sharing behaviour is independent of monetary rewards. The results of this suggest that collaborative practices and trust can help employees' knowledge sharing behaviour to improve the capability of individuals in their organisations. These empirical results are entirely based on employees' perceptions rather than from a top management perspective. So it makes a valuable contribution, given the lack of empirical studies focusing on the South East Asian region. The findings of this thesis are beneficial for researchers, practitioners, and those interested in organisational structure in the knowledge context.