East vs West: Satisfaction With Knowledge Sharing Among Millennials


  • Carla Curado ADVANCE/CSG, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa
  • Mírian Oliveira PUCRS https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5498-0329
  • Paulo Lopes Henriques ADVANCE/CSG, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7869-7619
  • Anna Dolot Labour Resources Management Department, Cracow University of Economics, Cracow, Poland




Knowledge, Knowledge sharing, Fear of losing power, Satisfaction, Millennials


Knowledge sharing (KS) among individuals working together is complex and has an effect on their satisfaction. We adopt the self-determination theory and the theory of reasoned action to examine the relationship between millennials’ characteristics, KS and the resulting satisfaction. Using a mixed-method approach we address the antecedents of satisfaction in KS for 213 millennials attending Master programs in management at Polish and Portuguese business schools. The quantitative results show that knowledge characteristics influence KS as well as the fear of losing power due to KS. Knowledge complementarity and knowledge complexity positively contribute to KS. Knowledge complexity increases the fear of losing power due to KS, while knowledge complementarity decreases it, probably because individuals recognize complex knowledge as a more valuable one. The qualitative findings corroborate the quantitative results. Knowledge complementarity’s presence alone leads to KS, while its absence and knowledge complexity’s existence generate the fear of losing power. KS behavior and not being afraid of losing power due to KS lead to satisfaction from KS. The integration of both outputs is robust since quantitative results and qualitative findings converge: a) KS results from knowledge complementarity: knowledge complementarity relates positively to KS, which is consistent with a high level of knowledge complementarity providing a sufficient condition for a high level of KS; b) The fear of losing power results from the absence of knowledge complementarity and the existence of knowledge complexity, which is consistent with knowledge complementarity relating negatively to the fear of losing power and knowledge complexity relating positively to the fear of losing power; c) Satisfaction occurs when KS exists and the fear of losing power is absent, which is in line with KS relating positively to satisfaction and the fear of losing power due to KS relating negatively to satisfaction. Furthermore, the results show that millennial students’ satisfaction from KS is really a behavioral question and not a cultural one since there is no evidence of significant differences between the two subsamples. Millennials behave uniformly on Europe’s western and eastern ends.