South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 16, No 5 (2013)

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The relationship between working overtime and knowledge sharing in the food catering service industry – with work stress as the mediator

Wu-chung Wu


Working overtime has long existed in business enterprises, but past studies were generally focused on its negative aspects, such as costs, accidents and work–family conflicts. There has not been extensive exploration of the possibility that an appropriate amount of overtime could have a positive impact. Based on the literature review, we show that working overtime can have a significantly positive impact on knowledge sharing among employees, but significant differences are reflected in the effect of knowledge sharing due to varying degrees of working overtime. Also, through the introduction of work stress and leisure participation as mediation and regulatory factors, working overtime can be shown to have remarkable influences on employees’ knowledge sharing. It is confirmed that varying degrees of working overtime will produce different levels of work stress. Work stress indeed has a partially mediating effect on the relationship between working overtime and knowledge sharing, but the regulatory effect of leisure participation is not obvious. Finally, in the light of our research results, we recommend that similar topics be studied from the perspective of organisational culture.

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