Epistemological beliefs in the workplace
Weinberg, Frankie Jason
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This study proposes and tests two social-constructivist, knowledge-based models through which organization members’ personal epistemological beliefs about knowledge and learning promote organizational knowledge sharing behaviors in teams and mentoring relationships. First, beliefs held by team members are argued to influence these individuals’ knowledge sharing behaviors in their respective group, ultimately impacting group-level knowledge sharing outcomes in the forms of transactive memory systems and group learning. Second, beliefs held by mentors are expected to impact the degrees of vocational and psychosocial mentoring they provide to their protégés. The member’s perception of psychological safety is expected to moderate the relationships in both of these models. Results reveal that the epistemological beliefs of full-time working adults do not appear to converge on the expected five dimensions, and rather a construct of individuals’ beliefs regarding the effort associated with knowledge and learning processes emerged. Subsequent analysis reveals that organization members’ effort-oriented beliefs impact the amount of psychosocial support they provide as mentors and that the mentor’s perception of psychological safety acts to moderate this relationship in the direction predicted. However, members’ levels of vocational mentoring and the degree of knowledge sharing in which they engage in their work groups do not appear to reflect their effort-oriented beliefs. Constraints upon the study are discussed, and implications for future research and for practice are suggested.