Assessing the Impact of Organizational Ethical Climate on Knowledge Management Among Employees

Research Skills and Academic Literacy: Managing Knowledge Amongst Team Members

Q5 Table


According to Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) seven (7) processes are involved in knowledge management, these processes are; creation, sharing, identification, collection, adaptation, organisation and application.

Organisational ethical climate has been investigated to have impact on how employees perceive knowledge management, Sayeed et al., (2013). Employees’ perception of knowledge management can affect the organisation’s growth, Sayeed et al., (2013).

Ethical climate in organisations can be described as organisational practices which involves ethics.

These two research papers were chosen for this comparative review because both of the topics are related to knowledge management and ethics, also the researchers used similar case studies (organisations) to carry out the research. The papers are recent containing up- to-date information.

‘Assessing the impact of Organisational ethical climate on knowledge management on employees’’ topic was chosen because it aimed at describing the effect organisational ethical climate has on employees with regards to knowledge management.

Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) based their hypothesis on the nine (9) types of ethical climate (team interest, self interest, company’s profit, friendship, personal morality, efficiency, company’s rules and procedure and laws of professional codes) and how they affect knowledge management, whereas Sayeed et al., (2013) developed their hypothesis based on investigating how organizational ethical climate would affect employees of Guilan organization of economic affairs and finance, and tax department in knowledge management.

The aims, methodology used by the two research papers as well as their findings would be a guide in the comparative review section, the similarities and differences would be looked into as well.


The purpose of this comparative review between the two research papers is to analyse the methods used by each paper, their findings and also with regards to ethics in knowledge management among employees in an organisation.


In the research work of Sayeed et al., (2013) the work aimed at identifying the impact of organisational ethical climate on employees knowledge management activities in Guilan organization of economic affairs and finance, and tax department.

Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) research work aim was to identify how knowledge management is affected by considering a wide range of ethical climates.

Similarities and differences in the aims of the research

The both research identified that knowledge management is affected by ethical climate and aimed at investigating at different levels how ethical climate affects employees’ perception on knowledge management.

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Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) identified the ethical climates clearly in their research work and explained how each of the ethical climates are related to the other, whereas in Sayeed et al., (2013) the ethical climates were not properly addressed but rather organisational ethical climate.


The research method employed by Sayeed et al., (2013) was qualitative research. Random sampling of the case study (Guilan organization of economic affairs and finance, and tax department) which had a sample size of 900. Questionnaires containing 33 questions derived and modified from existing questionnaires by previous research work / authors were used, the questionnaires were based on a 5 – point Likert scale using, Pearson correlation coefficient was used in analysing of the data collected.

Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) used a 5- point likert scale questionnaire ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The questionnaires used were also selected from existing questionnaires and modified, different measures were used to measure the ethical climate, satisfaction and trust also knowledge management as stated in the research work. 425 questionnaires were distributed to employees in Taiwan of different company and sizes with the majority company rendering manufacturing services, the respondents were related to knowledge management practices either directly or indirectly (their employees’/ workers were involved in knowledge management). In the analysis of data SPSS AMOS, structural equation model (SEM) and descriptive statistics was used.

Similarities and differences in the two methods used

The two papers used a 5–point Likert scale questionnaire derived and modified from previous questionnaires to carry out their survey, the method of analysis was different in the two papers, Shih -Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) analytical method was explained in more context, also the amount and description of respondents were stated although the number of questions contained in the questionnaire was not indicated whereas in Sayeed et al., (2013) the number of questions and sample size was known but the amount that actually participated in the survey was not indicated. In Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) research work the sample size contained varieties of employees’ from different companies in Taiwan while Sayeed et al., (2013) used just one company during his survey for carrying out the research.

In carrying out research sampling is a huge factor because your findings are based on it, if the sampling size is small or restricted the value or outcome of the research becomes questionable as to whether it applies to only the restricted sample size, a larger variety of sample size is advised to be used while carrying out research work.


The find of the two (2) research papers Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) and Sayeed et el., both indicated that the organisational ethical climates described in each of the research work had an impact on how knowledge management is discerned among employees’ of an organisation and stated how the ethical climates impacted / affected knowledge management. The two (2) research papers presented their findings with illustrations on the method of analysis used, Sayeed et al., (2013) used tables showing the correlation coefficient, determination coefficient significant level and results to indicate the hypotheses testing result, on the other hand tables showing the composite reliability, mean, average variance and standard deviation was shown identifying three (3) ethical models also figures showing the three (3) ethical models were related to other factors was illustrated in structural equation model diagram was used by Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013).

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In both research work knowledge management and ethical climate was looked into.

Knowledge management

In Sayeed (2013) definition of knowledge management he added that knowledge management has to do with the ‘appropriate knowledge at the appropriate time by the appropriate person in an organisation by discovering, developing and creating, evaluating to access organisational goals by providing the appropriate structures’.

Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) describes knowledge as an assert that is highly valuable in organisations and how employees’ are disinterested in the sharing of knowledge because of trust related issues.

Organisation ethical climate

The ethical climate discussed in Sayeed et al., (2013) was linked with organisational culture and organisational climate; the research paper also described how organisational ethical climate was involved in the attitude of employees (judgement, sense of what is right or wrong, intentions, behaviour) within an organisation and also indicated the company’s/organisations moral behaviour.

Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) in his research work describe organisation culture as being involved in ethics and sharing of knowledge, the paper also indicated that ‘organization culture is a critical enabler of knowledge management implementation’. The research described that organisational ethical climate is formed when ethics is introduced to the climate of an organisation.


The two research papers aimed at identifying how ethical climate in an organisation can affect knowledge management in employees’, Sayeed et al., (2013) based his hypotheses by reviewing several similar research works, one of which investigated the impact of organisational climate on knowledge management and the findings of the work indicated a statistically significant impact of organization ethical climate on knowledge management Shih-Hsuing and Gwo-Guang (2013) Organisational climate which focuses on employees’ attitude and organisation’s culture (values assumptions) are related in the concept of ethical climate.

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