Differences in personality and the sharing of managerial tacit knowledge: an empirical analysis of public sector managers in Malaysia

Armstrong, Steve (2020) Differences in personality and the sharing of managerial tacit knowledge: an empirical analysis of public sector managers in Malaysia. Journal of Knowledge Management, 24 (5). ISSN 1367-3270

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-01-2020-0014

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DIFFERENCES IN PERSONALITY AND THE SHARING OF MANAGERIAL TACIT KNOWLEDGE: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGERS IN MALAYSIA
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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to identify differences in knowledge-sharing mechanisms and personality
among expert, typical and novice managers within the Malaysian public sector. Strengthening
knowledge sharing function is essential for enabling public institutions around the world to be more
productive.
Design/methodology/approach – This quantitative study involves 308 employees from management
and professional groups within 98 local authorities in the Malaysian local government. Stratified random
sampling techniques were used and the sampling frame comprised 1,000 staff using postal surveys.
Data analyses were carried out using analysis of variance and correlations to test the research
hypotheses.
Findings – The findings reveal that expert managers are more proactive in sharing their knowledge,
particularly those with the personality traits of conscientiousness and openness. These two personality
traits were also related to expert behaviours such as thoroughness, responsibility and persistence, which
led to work competency and managerial success.
Originality/value – This study provides theoretical insights into how managerial tacit knowledge differs
and can accumulate, depending on the personality traits of middle managers. The paper shows the
different mechanisms of knowledge sharing, tacit knowledge and personality among expert, typical and
novice managers. Practically, this study is important for guiding senior managers in their attempts to
identify the most appropriate personalities of their middle managers. This study found that the expert
group was higher in conscientiousness, openness and overall personality traits compared with the typical
and novice groups. The paper also highlights the value of sharing managerial tacit knowledge effectively.

Keywords:Knowledge sharing, Personality traits, Tacit knowledge
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:41347
Deposited On:02 Jul 2020 12:53

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