note that this information is usually shared by individuals/humans who have access to
different information technology (IT) infrastructure capabilities to facilitate this sharing.
Information is generally viewed as providing an advantage over competitors and this
may cause either organisations or individuals to resist sharing it with their SC partners
(Trkman and Desouza, 2012; Li and Lin, 2006).
There is a considerable need to examine inter-organisational behaviour along with
the social and psychological factors that motivate people to share information (Zhao and
Wu, 2013; Tokar, 2010; Narayanan and Raman, 2004). The aspect of the willingness of
humans to share information is often “overlooked”in SCs (Fawcett et al., 2007) and most
current studies address the benefits gained from sharing data, but neglect the effect of the
willingness to share (Du et al., 2012). It is important to know why individuals/humans
choose to give information to others (Chen and Hung, 2010). Researchers and practitioners,
thus, have a common interest in understanding the drivers of employees’information
sharing (Reinholt et al., 2011).
Many studies (e.g. Moramarco et al., 2013; Romano and Formentini, 2013; Hofer et al.,
2012) identify behavioural factors like trust and motivation for information sharing in
a SC context. However, only a handful of studies derive them from a unifying theory
(Van Weele and Van Raaij, 2014), for example, Wu et al. (2014) and Griffith et al. (2006)
apply social exchange theory (SET). There is a need to apply such interdisciplinary
theories so that the challenges of information sharing may be better understood.
These challenges are mainly either: social in nature like developing trust or collaboration
among SC partners; or technical in nature like the IT infrastructure capability used for
information sharing. Most research regarding the former challenge is on how to build
partnerships and lacks an investigation of the antecedent/personal characteristics that
affect individuals’willingness to share.
In this regard, information sharing theory by Constant et al. (1994) draws its roots from
social exchange factors (like reciprocity) and social psychology factors (like attitudes,
feelings and self-identity) to examine the effects on individuals’intentions to share
information. Information sharing theory argues that individuals are driven by personal
determinants, for instance reciprocity and power and by the social and organisational
determinants of information sharing. The understanding of information sharing
values is, however, still limited (Popovičet al., 2014). Future research needs to explore
motivational factors like trust and particular attitudes to information sharing intentions
(Wang and Noe, 2010).
Our research focusses on these challenges as we identifyspecific social and psychological
factors derived from information sharing theory that affect the willingness to share
information withSC partners. We empirically examine howmuch this willingness influences
the quality of the information shared while alsotaking firms’IT infrastructure capability into
account. We usea sample of 387 respondents to study thesocial-psychological antecedents of
willingness to share and, consequently, its impact on information sharing quality.
The structure of our paper is that Section 2 reviews the literature to derive the model
from information sharing theory and develop the hypotheses. Sections 3 and 4 discuss the
research design, data collection and results of data analysis using structural equation
modelling, path analysis and mediation analysis. Section 5 explains the theoretical and
practical implications of our work.
2. Literature review and hypotheses development
Our literature review focussed on information sharing theory and willingness to share
information covered under the keywords: information quality, SET, and willingness within
knowledge sharing and information sharing disciplines. The above-mentioned keywords
were combined with “supply chains”and “IT”, which later on were drilled down to include