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Knowledge sharing in small family firms: a leadership perspective.

Cunningham, James; Seaman, Claire; McGuire, David


James Cunningham

Claire Seaman


Knowledge sharing is considered critical in the development of a knowledge resource to contribute to the strategic development of the firm. However, how this key organisational activity takes place in small family firms is unknown, as much of the surrounding literature focused on large, nonfamily-oriented firms. This mixed-methods paper investigates the nature of knowledge sharing in small family firms, and explores the role of the influence of family in knowledge resource development. Quantitative findings (n=110) acknowledge heterogeneity of approach in small family firms and discover two distinct ways in which knowledge sharing activities take place; while qualitative data (n=26) uncovers what this means for individual knowledge sharing motivation within the firm. Contributions are here made to both family business and knowledge sharing literature, with implications for the way in which small family firms view the development of their knowledge resource.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 18, 2015
Publication Date 2016-03
Deposit Date Dec 2, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 19, 2016
Journal Journal of Family Business Strategy
Print ISSN 1877-8585
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 34-46
Keywords Family firms; Knowledge sharing; Path-goal theory; Mixed-methods; Factor analysis;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Dec 2, 2015


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