Abstract: Knowledge sharing among software developers enhances the success of software design and implementation. However, there is an inadequate understanding of how communication factors such as negotiation and reciprocity impact the knowledge-sharing process within software development teams and between team leaders and team members. The present study used a correlational research design to test the relationship between the reciprocity (i.e., communication between team members), negotiation (i.e., communication between team leaders and team members), and knowledge sharing to determine whether different types of communication influence knowledge-sharing outcomes. A cross-sectional survey was used to collect data from a target population of software developers. The sample consisted of 85 software developers with a minimum of 2 years of experience working on software development teams. Multiple linear regression analyses were run to determine the extent to which the variables of negotiation, reciprocity, and knowledge sharing were related. The results indicated that the variables were significantly related, and 70% of knowledge sharing was the result of reciprocity-exchange of ideas and reciprocity-meetings. Team meetings and the open exchange of ideas between team members were found to be the most effective methods of reciprocity related to knowledge sharing among team members. Negotiation and team cohesiveness, however, were not significant to the knowledge-sharing process. The findings indicated that the process of knowledge sharing is more important than individual relationships between software development team members. Thus, from an organizational perspective, holding regular project meetings with all team members would be a more effective knowledge-sharing strategy than using team-building exercises to strengthen personal bonds between team members. Additional research is necessary to determine how software developers’ personal characteristics impact knowledge-sharing processes.
Keywords: IT governance,Knowledge sharing,Negotiation,Reciprocity,Software development, Tacit-explicit knowledge