Workers’ Knowledge Sharing and Its Relationship with Their Colleague’s Political Publicity in Social Media

Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 19  •  2024  •  pp. 014

This paper intends to answer the question regarding the extent to which political postings with value differences/similarities will influence the level of implicit knowledge sharing (KS) among work colleagues in organizations. More specifically, the study assesses contributors’ responses to a workmate’s publicity about politics on social media platforms (SMP) and their eagerness to implement implicit KS to the co-worker.

Previously published articles have confirmed an association between publicity about politics and the reactions from workfellows in the organization. Moreover, prior work confirmed that workers’ social media postings about politics may create unfavorable responses, such as being disliked and distrusted by workfellows. This may obstruct the KS because interpersonal relations are among the KS’s essential components. Therefore, it is imperative to assess whether the workfellows’ relationship affected by political publicity would impede the KS in the office.

Data was gathered using the vignette technique and online survey. A total of 510 online and offline questionnaires were distributed to respondents in Indonesian Halal firms who have implemented knowledge-sharing practices and have been at work for no less than twelve months in the present role. Next, the 317 completed questionnaires were examined with partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

Postings about politics on SMP can either facilitate or impede the level of KS in organizations, and this research topic is relatively scarce in the knowledge management discipline. While previously published articles have concentrated on public organizations, this research centers on private firms. Moreover, this work empirically examines private companies in Indonesia, which is also understudied in the existing literature.

The outcomes confirm that perceived political value similarity (PPV) in a co-worker’s social-media publicity has a significant and indirect influence on contributors’ eagerness to perform implicit/tacit KS. Further, colleague likability and trustworthiness significantly influence the level of KS among respondents. As PPV significantly forms colleague likability, likability strongly and positively shapes trustworthiness.

The study shows that political publicity significantly affects implicit knowledge sharing (KS). As a result, managers and leaders, particularly those in private firms, are strengthened to instruct their staff about the ramifications of publicity embedded in employees’ SMP postings, particularly about political topics, as it may result in either negative or positive perceptions amongst the staff towards the workmate who posts.

As this study focuses on examining KS behavior in a large context, i.e., Indonesia Halal firms that dominate the Indonesian economy, and the fact that much polarization research focuses on society at large and less on specific sectors of life, it is important and interesting for researchers to conduct similar studies in a specific workplace as political agreements and disagreements become so important and consequential in everyday lives.

This article makes the implication that a person’s personality can influence how they react to political posts on SMP. It is difficult for the exposers to know the personality of each viewer of publicity in daily life. Workers’ newfound knowledge can motivate them to use SMP responsibly and lessen the probability that they will disclose information that might make their co-workers feel or perceive anything unfavorably.

There is a need for further studies to examine if the results can be applied to different locations and organizations, as individuals’ behaviors may vary according to the cultures of society and firms. Furthermore, future research can take into account the individual characteristics of workers, such as hospitability, self-confidence, and psychological strength, which may be well-matched with future work models. Future research may potentially employ a qualitative technique to offer deeper insights into the same topic.

political communication, private organization, social media, tacit knowledge sharing, PLSSEM
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