Date of Conferral







Maxwell Rainforth


During their first year, new employees rely on their supervisors to share knowledge that will help them adjust to their new jobs. The purpose of this quantitative, correlation study was to examine the relationship between newcomers’ perceptions of supervisors’ knowledge-sharing and the information-seeking tactics of (a) direct inquiry, (b) indirect inquiry, (c) third-party inquiry, (d) testing limits, and (e) observing. The theoretical foundation used in this study was social exchange theory. The independent variable was measured using items from the Attitude Towards Knowledge Sharing Scale developed by Bock and Kim, and the dependent variables were measured using Miller’s Information-Seeking Strategies Scale. Survey data were collected from 179 individuals who self-identified as being in non-supervisory roles and had less than 1-year job tenure. The participants were recruited through Survey Monkey and social media. Spearman correlation indicated a strong, positive correlation between knowledge-sharing attitudes and direct inquiry. Spearman correlations also indicated inverse relationships between knowledge-sharing attitudes and the remaining information-seeking tactics of (a) indirect inquiry, (b) third-party-inquiry, (c) testing limits, and (d) observing. These results suggest that when supervisors are willing to directly and openly share knowledge, new employees will respond by also using direct tactics because there is less perceived need for covert tactics. These results have important social change implications for organizations, supervisors, and new employees. By encouraging positive knowledge-sharing attitudes among supervisors, organizations support new employees’ direct information-seeking behaviors, which perpetuates further positive social interactions.

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