Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Business


This study seeks to obtain a better understanding of the factors influencing employees’ knowledge sharing behavioural intentions within the Emirati organisational context. While the literature provides some examples of studies on the subject in Western countries and Asia, there has been a lack of research around the topic in the Middle East, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Some organisations have placed a lot of emphasis on innovation and technology and forgotten what (ultimately) makes their business really successful – the human factor.

The study followed a mixed methodology approach; the quantitative method was the primary approach and qualitative methods were employed as a complementary technique to deepen the understanding of some of the quantitative data results. The theoretical foundation of this thesis is based on the theory of reasoned action (TRA) and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). These theories are widely used in social psychology to explain many human behaviours. The model therefore is developed based on the latest evolution of the TRA and TPB framework as well as additional factors highlighted in the literature. Eleven variables were tested to examine their impact on the intention to share knowledge in an organisational context. Primary data were obtained from a questionnaire administered to three large government organisations in the UAE: of 1073 questionnaires, 881 were usable. A total of 21 (including the pilot interviews) semi-structured interviews were carried out in the same three organisations with organisational executives, KM managers and KM practitioners. Structural equation modelling was used to test the three study models. The results show that both inclusive leadership’s and knowledge leadership’s influence on organisational culture dimensions (participation, trust, agreement, team orientation, and openness) were highly significant. Interestingly, and contrary to expectations, the quantitative data show that neither participation nor team orientation had a significant impact on attitude toward knowledge sharing. Also, the results show that inclusive leadership has a positive an impact on attitude toward knowledge sharing whereas knowledge leadership was found to have a negative influence. In addition, all TRA constructs were significant for all three models. The results offer various insights into knowledge sharing behavioural intentions in organisations in the UAE. Policy makers, executive leaders and KM managers will be able to utilise the results and the practical implications of this study to create intervention programs to enhance knowledge sharing intentions and practices in organisations.

The thesis provides an alternative view to the more common technological focus, moving it more onto human related factors. It is important for organisations to acknowledge the importance of both leadership and organisational culture on knowledge sharing behavioural intentions among employees. Like anything else that keeps evolving, organisational culture and leadership too evolves and therefore, organisations need to look for the best organisational culture and leadership style that will keep them on top of the market.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.