To Ask or Not to Ask: The Roles of Interpersonal Trust in Knowledge Seeking

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



This article looks to investigate the roles of interpersonal trust in knowledge seeking. Specifically, the article examines and tests the effects of two distinct types of interpersonal trust (affect-based trust and cognition-based trust) on willingness to seek two different types of knowledge (explicit and tacit). Using data from a survey of 143 employees from Chinese firms, the article found that both types of interpersonal trust positively related to explicit knowledge seeking, as well as tacit knowledge seeking. The article also found that cognition-based trust had a stronger relationship with seeking of both explicit and tacit knowledge than affect-based trust. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.