From the resource-based theory perspective, knowledge is considered one of a company’s most important strategic resources1. Scholars have conducted numerous studies on the relationship between the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity. Many scholars have suggested that the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing can promote employee creativity at the individual level. The most critical factor for this promotion is knowledge transformation2.3
Knowledge management is given higher priority in the knowledge economy driven by modern information technology. Knowledge is increasingly replacing traditional production factors such as land, labor, and capital as the most active resource in enterprise development. Knowledge has reusability and cumulative value creation characteristics compared to conventional economic resources.
The knowledge that organizations and individuals possess is always limited. Knowledge transfer to expand and renewability becomes one of the essential tasks to improve the competitiveness of companies.
Knowledge transfer can be divided into three steps: Motivation to share, knowledge transmission, and knowledge absorption. In this process, motivation to share knowledge is the prerequisite for knowledge transfer. According to Herzberg’s two-factor theory, only motivating factors can stimulate people’s motivation associated with knowledge transfer. Therefore, one of the most critical issues is how to motivate knowledge owners for knowledge transfer better and which reasons among the many motives for knowledge transfer can motivate.
Meanwhile, knowledge is the synthesis of personal experience and accumulated knowledge that usually remains with individual employees in some form. Only the knowledge held by individuals is shared can organizational members effectively manage and use knowledge as a resource. Sharing knowledge between individuals, corporate members, and departments is critical in this transformation process4.
As the world economy is gradually recovering after the epidemic of COVID-19, many countries have taken various measures to encourage companies to hire more employees and use advanced management methods to improve organizational performance. In this situation, maintaining their development becomes a crucial issue. Due to the overlap of the COVID - 19 epidemic with the knowledge economy era, most enterprises face a high degree of uncertainty and potential crises in the external environment. Due to the diversification and specialization of tasks, more and more functions in enterprises need to combine through employee knowledge sharing to handle large-scale and complex tasks. Companies believe that employee knowledge sharing can enhance employee creativity. Companies that share knowledge better achieve better performance, and a higher level of knowledge sharing is also more sustainable5.6
Some scholars have made valuable additions to knowledge sharing in business in developing research on knowledge sharing. The literature review concludes that the process of the individual contribution of knowledge to the organization is a cooperative contribution, and the use of public knowledge is non-exclusive and non-competitive, which are characteristics of “public goods.” They construct an economic model using mathematical methods to explain the process of knowledge sharing7.8
Academic research on knowledge sharing currently focuses on relevant factors of individual organizations, such as the impact of organizational support and climate on knowledge sharing behavior and organizational performance. Or on some unique aspects, such as how personal characteristics influence knowledge-sharing behavior. However, the relationship between the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity still needs more explanations, which requires further investigation and analysis in theoretical research.
Employee creativity is key to organizational creative and sustainable development. We examine the factors that influence employee creativity in the current context of the innovation market. Few studies comprehensively address the influence mechanism between intrinsic motivation and individual creativity behavior. Many factors that affect employee creativity, such as internal motivation and psychological readiness, are considered antecedent creativity variables. Existing literature examines employee creativity from two perspectives: personality traits and social interactions9.
This study aims to determine the relationship between the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity. Employees with high intrinsic motivation are more willing to share and exchange knowledge capital with other employees. They can easily and quickly acquire new knowledge and ideas, which leads to more creativity.
There is a consensus on the importance of knowledge sharing in today’s world for business development, access to knowledge resources, and value creation. Employee creativity can only achieve through knowledge sharing among employees10.
Literature review shows that the critical factor influencing the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing is not technology but the endogenous motivation of knowledge employees11. Knowledge workers showed a willingness to experiment, and the theory of endogenous motivation can interpret active participation.
However, the literature has found that endogenous motivation has a predictive effect on employee creativity12. This study aims to determine the impact of knowledge workers’ endogenous stimulation on employees’ creativity to support and advance existing research.
Third, it is necessary to clarify the intrinsic relationship and principle to solve practical problems.
The mechanisms underlying the influence of knowledge workers’ endogenous motivation on employees’ creativity have not been systematically analyzed theoretically and empirically. Research on the contexts in which this relationship exists is minimal. Therefore, it is essential to investigate and clarify the intrinsic correlation between the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity and the mechanism of its influence.
The relationship between the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity is controversial, especially the relationship between intrinsic motivation and employee creativity has many uncertainties. This study analyses the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing to strengthen the relationship between motivation and creativity based on the two-factor theory, clarify the relationship between intrinsic motivation and employee creativity, and further explain the boundary conditions of the role of intrinsic motivation on employee creativity.
Above all, we need to review and explore the mechanism of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity against a realistic background. This study combines the actual situation of enterprises and the relevant human resource management theories. At the same time, this study focuses on analyzing and studying the impact of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing on employees’ creativity, taking the Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone as the study object.
1.3.1 To determine the perceived motivation level of the employees for knowledge sharing in the Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone.
1.3.2 To determine employees’ perceived level of creativity in the Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone.
1.3.3 To investigate the relationship between the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity in the Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone.
In the era of the knowledge economy, the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity are strategic assets for companies to maintain their competitiveness. Based on the two-factor theory and the componential model of employee creativity. This study aims to discover the mechanism and build a model of employee motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity in local Chinese enterprises.
First, this study investigates the relationship between employee motivation and behavior to share knowledge within motivation theory. Based on the specific connotation and logic of the two-factor theory and related research findings, the various influence mechanisms of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing on employee creativity. Based on the componential model of employee creativity, this study examines the role of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing on employee creativity.
Second, this study reviews the application of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing scale13and employee creativity scale14to a study population of all knowledge workers in enterprises in the Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone.
Third, transcend the limitations of the original literature and concepts. This study enriches the study field of employee creativity through employee motivation and explains the mechanism of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity. This study solves the problem of how knowledge employees can increase their motivation to share knowledge and thus stimulate creative behavior.
In this study, we develop an explanatory logic and influence mechanism to promote employee creativity from a micro perspective by starting with the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing. Based on the main explanatory path, we analyze the inner action chain and influence mechanism from the employee’s motivation to transfer knowledge to employee creativity. This study shows a model of the employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing and employee creativity from different dimensions, which makes up for the shortcomings of previous research.
First, there are limitations in the sample size.
This study selected the object only from the Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone. A randomly selected sample is not representative of the population.
Second, cross-sectional studies are insufficient.
This study only includes data at the individual level and does not consider factors at the organizational and managerial levels. However, in natural complex management, many factors influence positive behaviors, such as employee creativity. The reference has certain limitations.
The employee’s motivation for knowledge sharing is defined as motivation is the inner drive that causes a person to act, sustain, and direct activity toward a goal. Knowledge sharing refers to the knowledge that employees exchange with each other so that knowledge spreads from personal experience to the level of the organization. By interrogating the organization’s knowledge, employees can obtain methods and tools for solving problems. In turn, employee-friendly methods and tools can be incorporated into organizational learning through feedback systems so that more employees can use them, improving management efficiency.
Employee creativity is characterized as follows: Creativity has two manifestations, invention and discovery. This concept means that creating new things is about discovering things and regulations that already exist but are not yet understood. Creativity is a different skill than intelligence. The content of the creativity test is not in the realm of the intelligence test, and it is an ability that the intelligence test cannot measure. Novelty and uniqueness are the essential characteristics of creativity.
Herzberg put forward the two-factor theory in motivational theory in 1959, which systematically states that a worker’s behavior is influenced by two factors: one is external factors related to working conditions or environment, such as company policies, management actions, wages, benefits, etc., called hygiene factors; the other are factors related to the job content, such as work achievements, promotion opportunities, work challenges, etc., called motivational factors.
Contemporary American psychologist Amabile, head of the Entrepreneurial Management Group at Harvard Business School, has proposed the necessary and sufficient elements for creativity in all areas. She believes that new product creation results from the interaction of three essential components: domain-relevant skills, creativity-relevant skills, and task motivation. Different individuals have different areas of expertise and other aspects of high creativity. Cognitive skills derived from education and training are critical, but mental skills alone are insufficient to lead to creativity. Certain individual traits correlate well with being creative, but just having those traits is not enough. While there are unique talents, education is also critical. While diligence is essential, a certain lack of inhibition can also make a necessary contribution to creativity.
The Industrial Park of Jiujiang National Economic and Technology Development Zone, established on July 12, 1992, is one of the first development zones in Jiangxi Province and a full member of the China Association of Development Zones. On March 21, 2010, it was upgraded to a national economic and technological development zone. Regional jurisdiction area of nearly 150 square kilometres, jurisdiction over one township, two fields, three roads, and four parks, with a population of about 150,000.
In February 2018, it was selected as one of the first mass entrepreneurship and innovation demonstration bases in Jiangxi Province. In 2020, Jiujiang City Development Zone achieved a regional GDP of 36.580 billion yuan and total tax revenue of 12.096 billion yuan.