Effects of face and guanxi on individual knowledge-sharing intention

Zhuojia Zhao1, Hung-Hsin Chen2, Po-Yen Lee3
1Department of International Business, Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics, People’s Republic of China
2Business School, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
3Department of Creative Design and Management, National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan
Cite this article:  Zhao, Z., Chen, H.-H., & Lee, P.-Y. (2017). Effects of face and guanxi on individual knowledge-sharing intention. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(10), 1691-1706.

Volume 45 Issue 10 | e6045 | Published: November 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6045

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It is not clear at present why Chinese people’s concern about face hinders the free flow of knowledge in an organizational setting, which key factors contribute to this relationship, and what conditions are necessary for this effect to occur. We applied expectancy theory to examine the specific role of face in both knowledge sharing and guanxi. Participants were 291 Master of Business Administration students, and we applied structural equation modeling to the collected data to thoroughly analyze the direct and indirect effects between factors. Results showed that stronger guanxi between 2 parties was associated with both parties caring less about face. Further, the expectancy of individuals to realize specific knowledge-sharing goals and a good organizational climate, rather than the formal organizational system, were also found to play a role in willingness to share knowledge. Finally, we found that face motivations varied across individuals.

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