Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Effects of Extrinsic Rewards on Knowledge Sharing Initiatives

Effects of Extrinsic Rewards on Knowledge Sharing Initiatives
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Author(s): Gee Woo Bock (Sungkyunkwan University, Korea), Chen Way Siew (IBM Consulting Services, Singapore) and Youn Jung Kang (Sungkyunkwan University, Korea)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch204


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In the field of motivation, incentives are seen as a means of motivating people. Incentives are usually applied in the form of a scheme, such as piece-rate and fixed-rate monetary rewards. Since the field of knowledge management involves a certain measure of motivation, a number of organizations have used incentives to encourage their employees to share knowledge. Research to date concerning the role of incentives in knowledge sharing seems to contradict one another. Furthermore, when an incentive is sufficiently large, some individuals are inspired to increase their performance to reflect the incentive received (London & Oldham, 1976). Along with this negative disposition, intrinsically motivated individuals would experience a deterioration of such motivation due to the introduction of incentives, thus jeopardizing the whole knowledge sharing initiative (Deci, Koestner, & Ryan, 1999; Jordan, 1986). Some research (Bock & Kim, 2002; O’Dell & Grayson, 1998) has suggested a trigger effect that comes from implementing incentives. Empirical evidence concerning the long-term effects of incentives in the field of knowledge sharing is also lacking (Fossum, 1979; O’Dell & Grayson). This research seeks to consolidate the many different views of past research, investigating areas that are lacking. Is it possible to consolidate the different views of incentives in knowledge sharing? Are there differences between having fixed-rate, piece-rate, or no incentive schemes in knowledge sharing initiatives? Do incentives exhibit a triggering effect in motivating individuals to share their knowledge? Would the removal of incentives after the trigger period affect a knowledge sharing initiative? Will the continual increase of incentives remain effective in the long term for knowledge sharing initiatives? These research questions will be answered as the article progresses.

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