The Influence of Feedback and Expert Status in Knowledge Sharing Dilemmas

Journal article


Moser, KS (2017). The Influence of Feedback and Expert Status in Knowledge Sharing Dilemmas. Applied Psychology.
AuthorsMoser, KS
Abstract

Groups and organisations set cooperative goals for their members, yet in reality some team members contribute more than others to these goals. Experts, in particular, face a social dilemma: from the group s perspective they should share their knowledge, whereas individually they are better off not sharing, because acquiring knowledge is costly and they would give up a competitive advantage. Two experiments (N1596, N25192) tested the hypothesis, derived from indirect reciprocity theory, that experts contribute more if their status is being recognised. Expert status was manipulated under different performance feedback conditions and the impact on people s contributions in two different knowledge sharing tasks was analysed. In both studies, experts contributed more when feedback was individualised and public, ensuring both individual status rewards and public recognition. In contrast, novices contributed more when performance feedback was collective, regardless of whether it was public or private feedback. Novices did not have to fear negative performance evaluations under group feedback and could gain in social status as members of a successful group. Social value orientation moderated expert contributions in Study 2, with proself-oriented experts being particularly susceptible to reputation gains. The studies contribute to the neglected aspect of motivation in knowledge sharing dilemmas where collective and individual interests are not necessarily aligned.

KeywordsExpertise; Knowledge Sharing Dilemma; Feedback; Status; Team; Social Value Orientation; Novices; Information Sharing; Prosocial Behaviour
Year2017
JournalApplied Psychology
PublisherWiley
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/apps.12105
FunderMaria Goeppert-Mayer Foundation
Competitive Research Fund of the University of Zuric
Publication dates
Print06 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Aug 2017
Accepted06 Jun 2017
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86y4z

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