Knowledge Sharing Ties and Equivalence in Corporate Online Community: A Novel Source to Understand Voluntary Turnover
Posted: 5 Mar 2021 Last revised: 10 Jun 2021
Date Written: May 7, 2021
An increasing number of companies start to use corporate online communities as a new information technology tool to facilitate internal knowledge sharing. The corporate community also offers companies a novel source to understand the operations such as workforce management. Little is known, however, about whether and to what extent an employee’s voluntary turnover is related to their knowledge-sharing activities in the corporate online community. We address this critical issue by jointly considering both in-degree and out-degree knowledge-sharing ties (i.e., knowledge acquisition and knowledge contribution). Specifically, we focus on two novel knowledge-sharing indicators, namely (i) bidirectional (vs. unidirectional) knowledge-sharing ties and (ii) equivalence of knowledge-sharing ties (i.e., the balance between in-degree ties and out-degree ties). We theorize and empirically analyze the relationships between these two indicators and the likelihood of voluntary employee turnover. We collect a unique dataset from a large company, which documents the detailed employees’ knowledge-sharing behaviors in the online community and the official voluntary turnover records. A survival model and a series of robustness checks consistently indicate that employees establishing bidirectional knowledge-sharing ties (vs. those establishing unidirectional ties) are less likely to resign. Those with higher (vs. lower) equivalence are less likely to quit. In light of the critical role of workforce management and the extensive use of online communities, our study can offer important managerial implications and help companies better understand employees’ voluntary turnover through their online knowledge-sharing activities.
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