Factors governing the consumption of explicit knowledge



Knowledge management as a field continues to receive resounding interest from scholars. While we have made progress in many areas of knowledge management, we are yet to understand what factors contribute to employee usage of knowledge artifacts. A field study of 175 employees in a software engineering organization was conducted to understand factors that govern consumption of explicit knowledge. We assert that the decision to consume knowledge can be framed as a problem of risk evaluation. Specifically, there are two sources of risk a consumer must evaluate prior to knowledge consumption—risk from the knowledge producer and risk from the knowledge product. We find support for the factors of perceived complexity, perceived relative advantage, and perceived risk as they relate to intentions to consuming knowledge.