Knowledge Sharing Networks: Language Diversity, Its Causes, and Consequences


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Although it is recognized that diversity influences knowledge sharing between employees, there is very little empirical research on the relationship between language diversity and knowledge sharing in the organizations. In this context, this study adopts network perspective and explores linguistic composition of personal knowledge-sharing networks, its causes and consequences. A survey was conducted involving 403 participants in different subsidiaries of a multinational organization. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the effect of language diversity in department, language attitude, and linguistic association on language diversity in personal knowledge-sharing networks. Moreover, analysis of variance was performed to analyze whether employees with multilingual knowledge-sharing networks differ from employees with monolingual knowledge-sharing networks in terms of their knowledge sharing behavior and performance. Regression analysis showed that language diversity in the immediate department and employees’ linguistic association in the organization significantly affects the language diversity in employees’ personal knowledge-sharing networks. However, against expectations, language attitude did not have any effect. Moreover, analysis of variance results show that there is no difference in knowledge-sharing behavior of employees who have multilingual or monolingual knowledge-sharing networks. However, the employees with multilingual knowledge-sharing networks perform better than those with monolingual knowledge-sharing networks in the organization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
JournalKnowledge and Process Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge networks
  • language diversity
  • multilingual organizations


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