Knowledge Sharing in an Online Community of Volunteers: The Role of Community Munificence



Zeynep Erden, ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology, and Economics, Zurich, Switzerland.



This study examines how perceived benefits, and context in online communities, shape members' intentions to share their knowledge. We build a model of knowledge-sharing intention and provide empirical evidence using survey data collected from a community in which members voluntarily exchange their experiences, ideas, and questions on photographic equipment via online platforms. We find the perceived benefits and favorable conditions provided by a community (community munificence) – which consists of collective knowledge, experienced interdependence, opportunity structures, and psychological safety – influence individuals' motivation to contribute knowledge. We discuss managerial implications and outline suggestions for future theory building and empirical research.