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

Authors


Correspondence:

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

E-mail: zerden@ethz.ch

Abstract

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.

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