Exploring behavioral transfer from knowledge seeking to knowledge contributing: The mediating role of intrinsic motivation

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Abstract

Knowledge contributing has long been identified as a bottleneck in knowledge management since individuals tend to believe that their contributing would not be worth the effort, given high levels of expectation to receive some value in return. Self-perception theory posits that individuals come to “know” their own internal beliefs by inferring them partially from observations of their own overt behavior. Building on self-perception theory and adhering to the principle that the relationship between behavior and beliefs is one of mutual influence, we develop a research model to explore the behavioral transfer from knowledge seeking to knowledge contributing and consider the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation. Data collected from 430 users of Web 2.0 applications were used to test the model. The mediating role of intrinsic motivation between knowledge seeking and knowledge contributing is confirmed. These findings and their implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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