Analysing knowledge sharing behaviour in business centres: a mixed multinomial logit model

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Previous studies have identified physical characteristics within a single-tenant office building (i.e. facilities and spaces) and personal characteristics that influence face-to-face interaction patterns and knowledge sharing between employees within large organizations. However, knowledge about the choice whether and which type of knowledge is shared in business centres, where organizations share spaces, facilities and services, is still limited. This paper addresses this research gap by looking at the influence of the physical work environment on knowledge sharing behaviour within and between different users of business centres, controlling for personal- and face-to-face interaction characteristics.
Data was collected among 100 users of seven business centres in the Netherlands, by means of a questionnaire on personal- and work related characteristics and characteristics of the physical work environment in the business centre. In addition, an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) was used to collect data on face-to-face interaction characteristics. Respondents were prompted at three random times during 10 workdays to participate in a short web-based survey. They were asked to report characteristics of their face-to-face interactions that took place 60 minutes prior to the prompt, including their knowledge sharing behaviour and which people they met. A mixed multinomial logit model was used to analyse the influence of personal-, work related-, work environment- and interaction characteristics on user’s knowledge sharing behaviour (i.e. whether and which type of knowledge was shared during an interaction).
The results showed a limited amount of significant effects of the physical work
environment. Only a cellular office was found to have a negative effect on sharing tacit knowledge during an interaction, compared to other office concepts. Furthermore, the results indicate that knowledge that is also available in a documented form is less frequently shared by freelancers/self-employed workers, than by people working for a larger organization. In addition, during a pre-planned interaction the propensity that people share knowledge that is also available in a documented form or by other people is higher than during unplanned interactions. Finally, the propensity that tacit knowledge is shared is higher during the activities: discussions/debates, meetings and when receiving or giving information. Based on these results, property managers of business centres need to make a shift of their emphasis from the building to the people. They need to make interventions based on the preferences and needs of their users to create more attractive work environments that stimulate unplanned face-to-face interactions and specific knowledge sharing activities. Results of this study also provide organizations more insight in their knowledge sharing behaviour, which could help them to increase their creativity and innovation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of full papers TWR2018 Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference,
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventTransdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference - Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 19 Sep 201821 Sep 2018
Conference number: 1


ConferenceTransdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference
Abbreviated titleTWR conference


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