In the past two decades, competition among universities has become globalized, and higher education systems are under intense pressure to improve their services. Universities have to respond to many types of pressure, such as decreasing governmental financial assistance and new demands from social actors, among others. These challenges require universities to expand their activities related to knowledge management. The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of social capital (internal ties and trust) within academic research teams and its influence on knowledge sharing. An empirical study was carried out with 87 academic research teams at a Spanish university. The findings reveal the existence of a mediator effect of trust, so that research teams with strong ties among their members that generate high levels of trust share more knowledge.
The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of social capital within academic research teams and its influence on knowledge sharing. An empirical study was carried out with 87 academic research teams at a Spanish university. The results show that internal ties have a positive effect on trust. Moreover, the results also reflect that both dimensions of social capital (internal ties and trust) have a positive and significant effect on research teams’ knowledge sharing. Therefore, the findings reveal that the network’s structure has a positive influence on the quality of relationships among academic researchers that favour knowledge sharing. Points for practitioners The results provide universities’ managers with a better understanding of internal social capital in academic research teams, which has important implications for researchers’ willingness to collaborate and share knowledge. Public university managers may use strategies to improve interdependence among research team members, favouring social relations among researchers. Thus, public universities should enhance research teams with stronger ties and high levels of trust that increase knowledge sharing.
Social capital and knowledge sharing in academic research teams
Paola García-Sánchez, Nieves L. Díaz-Díaz, Petra De Saá-Pérez
First Published 24 Apr 2017.
International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS)