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Title: The role of human resource management in fostering knowledge sharing behaviour : Thai boutique hotels
Author: Promnil, Niramol
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 7513
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2018
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Previous literature on HRM and knowledge sharing behaviour highlight the role of HRM in influencing interpersonal or psychological knowledge sharing factors, and potentially establishing social capital elements for knowledge sharing. However, the majority of previous studies have been undertaken in knowledge-intensive companies and, therefore, the understanding of how HRM fosters knowledge sharing in labour-intensive companies, particularly boutique hotels, is limited. This study makes a contribution by focusing on exploring the role of HRM in fostering knowledge sharing behaviour in boutique hotels. Previous studies typically investigate a single level of HRM and knowledge sharing behaviour and with data collected from only one level of organizational actors. This study argues that HRM and knowledge sharing behaviour exist within a hierarchy involving social actors at various levels of organizations, who have different perceptions and experiences of HRM fostering knowledge sharing behaviour. Therefore, undertaking a single level of investigation is inadequate to explain social construction of HRM and knowledge sharing behaviour within organizations. In addition, these studies are dominated by deductive and quantitative investigations. This means they are typically unable to offer insight into how or why HRM foster knowledge sharing behaviour, which involves complicated subjective processes. In order to explore complex social phenomena and contribute to the contextual richness for understanding the role of HRM in fostering knowledge sharing behaviour within an organization, this study employs an inductive qualitative and multilevel approach involving the perspectives of actors at various levels in organizations. This study employs a multiple case study approach involving multiple sources of data including relevant HRM documentation, non-participant observation (in public places) and face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 40 participants, working at various levels of the organizational hierarchies, from the 5 boutique hotels in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This study broadens the knowledge of HRM and knowledge sharing outside of knowledge-intensive companies. It develops an empirical framework of the role of HRM and knowledge sharing behaviour, which is appropriate for the SME boutique hotel sector but it may not be appropriate for organizations where the social setting is not informed by a highly collective culture. The empirical framework demonstrates the ranges of HRM practices in facilitating knowledge sharing behaviour at different-level within SME boutique hotels. Firstly, apart from high-performance HRM practices, functional flexibility in HRM practice provides employees with evidence of organizational support for them to receive personal benefits, and this encourages them to share their knowledge individually. Secondly, a soft HRM approach underpinned by the (Thai) culture plays a crucial role in establishing a sense of belonging with shared goals and vision, and this promotes departmental knowledge sharing behaviour. Lastly, a soft HRM approach combined with Face-To-Face-Communication (FTFC) facilitates knowledge sharing behaviour across entire organizations, and this may enhance the quality of service and develop competitive advantage. This study recognizes that Thai culture is a significant influential factor in managing people in SME boutique hotels which are likely to be in collectivist social settings. The Thai culture in HRM and resulting practice builds a sense of belonging with shared goals and understanding and this, in turn, encourages people to share their knowledge with each other. The major limitation of this study is the lack of the generalizability of case study research results. The study recommends further research to use a mixed research method to conduct research across all four regions of Thailand.
Supervisor: Gannon, Judie ; Bowie, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral