The influence of psychological safety and confidence in knowledge on employee knowledge sharing

Enno Siemsen, Aleda V. Roth, Sridhar Balasubramanian, Gopesh Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research empirically examines the influence of psychological safety on knowledge sharing among coworkers in manufacturing and service operations contexts. Reconciling conflicting findings in the literature, we demonstrate that whereas psychological safety is an important antecedent of knowledge sharing, the relationship between psychological safety and knowledge sharing is moderated by the level of confidence that employees have in what they know. The greater this confidence, the lesser is the importance of psychological safety in facilitating knowledge sharing. Linking this result to social network theory, we find that psychological safety increases with the frequency of communication among coworkers and that the confidence of employees in their knowledge is related to the codifiability of the knowledge involved. We further investigate direct and indirect antecedents of psychological safety. This research offers insights into actions that managers can take to enhance psychological safety and, consequently, motivate their employees to share knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-447
Number of pages19
JournalManufacturing and Service Operations Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Auxiliary network theory
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Operational choices
  • Psychological safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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