Individual Participation in Organizational Information Commons

The Impact of Team Level Social Influence and Technology-Specific Competence


Department of Communication, 308 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850; email:


This research extended earlier public goods research on individual incentives to use an organizational information commons that was based in Marwell and Oliver's (1993) collective action model. A revised theoretical model that incorporated team-level social influence and technology-specific competence was proposed. The model was tested using online survey data from 150 individuals in 13 work groups across 5 organizations. The research demonstrated that perceived team member behavior and technology-specific competence were positively related to individual use of intranets, over and above the collective level influences modeled in earlier research. These findings supported a more “socialized” model of individuals' motivations to participate in organizational information sharing via collective repositories and suggested that management could boost levels of intranet usage through group level social influence and technology-specific training.