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Contextualizing AMO Explanations of Knowledge Sharing in MNEs: The Role of Organizational and National Culture

Gooderham, P. N., Pedersen, T., Sandvik, A. M. , Dasí, À., Elter, F. & Hildrum, J. (2022). Contextualizing AMO Explanations of Knowledge Sharing in MNEs: The Role of Organizational and National Culture. Management International Review, 62(6), pp. 859-884. doi: 10.1007/s11575-022-00483-0


Ability, motivation, and opportunity (AMO) approaches have dominated studies of knowledge sharing in multinational enterprises (MNEs). We argue that there is a need to consider both the national and organizational cultural contexts. Beyond their direct influence on knowledge sharing with colleagues in other business units (BUs), national and organizational culture significantly reinforce the positive relation between individual motivation and knowledge sharing. Thus, our multi-level approach to knowledge sharing in MNEs gives rise to a contextualized AMO approach that provides a novel and more potent understanding of variations in knowledge sharing. At the individual level, our approach includes the degree of ability in the sense of professional competence, intrinsic motivation, and opportunities to interact with colleagues in other BUs. At the organizational and country levels, we examine the direct and indirect effects of a collaborative culture on knowledge sharing. We employ data from an MNE that operates across a variety of regions, including the Nordic countries, Central and Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. The sample consists of 11,484 individuals nested in 1235 departments in 11 countries. As well as confirming the significance of individual competence, intrinsic motivation, and opportunities for interaction for knowledge sharing, our findings reveal that both organizational culture and national culture are important factors for our understanding of knowledge sharing. This suggests that over and above recruiting intrinsically motivated employees, managers can enhance knowledge sharing by developing collaborative organizational cultures at the departmental level.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Publisher Keywords: Contextualized AMO, Knowledge sharing, Multi-level, Intrinsic motivation, Collaborative organizational culture, Collaborative national culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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