Online Knowledge-Sharing Motivators of Top Contributors in 30 Q&A Sites

  • Yongsi Chen
  • Khe Foon Hew
Conference paper
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology Yearbook book series (ECTY)


This study reports on the activities from a large question and answer (Q&A) site, Stack Exchange, which brings together individual communities of users on every specific topic. Q&A communities are selected from the top 30 sites from Stack Exchange, ranked by registered users as well as the percentage of answered questions. Using online survey, this study empirically tests a model of knowledge-sharing contribution to examine why individuals share knowledge in Stack Exchange. Research model is developed based on the theory of reasoned action, using attitude as the proxy to study the influence of possible motivations on knowledge-sharing intention. Nine factors were examined including knowledge-sharing self-efficacy, altruism, trust, reciprocity, personal expected returns, identification, shared vision, social network ties, and community-level expected returns. Results show that knowledge sharing is motivated primarily through altruism and personal expected returns.


Community of practice Q&A Knowledge-sharing motivations Knowledge-sharing contribution model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongsi Chen
    • 1
  • Khe Foon Hew
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong

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