Performance tip-sharing: When, and how, do employees share their insights?

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Burnett, Meredith Flowers
Shapiro, Debra L.
The purpose of my dissertation is to expand understanding about when, and how, employees share performance-tips-- that is, when employees will more frequently disclose to their colleagues (in organizationally-targeted or coworker-targeted ways) the new ideas that they have discovered in the process of working that improve their work tasks (e.g., ideas that help employees to work faster, more efficiently, with fewer mistakes, etc.) for the purpose of helping others in the same job to complete work or solve problems to improve efficiency or quality. Current literature suggests that this is more likely to occur when employees: (1) feel more rather than less obligated toward their organization and (2) believe that sharing performance-tips will benefit, not harm, them. The conceptual problem I resolve in this dissertation regards my belief that the latter assumptions are overly simplistic since the effect of any one of them seems likely to depend on the presence or absence of the other factors and on what type of performance-sharing (coworker-targeted vs. organizationally-targeted) is occurring. Via a field-survey of employees in the information-technology industry, I test the more complex set of relationships I theorize as predictors of the frequency and type of performance-tip sharing that employees engage in. I conclude with the theoretical and practical implications of my findings.