Knowledge Contribution in the Online Virtual Community: Capability and Motivation

  • Chih-Chien Wang
  • Cheng-Yu Lai
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4092)


With the popularization of the Internet, virtual communities offer a new way for knowledge exchange. Previous research focused on the individuals’ motivation to knowledge contribution. However, the exchange of knowledge is facilitated not only when individuals are motivated but also when individuals have the ability to engage in it. This study examines the influence of capability to the knowledge contribution in the virtual community as compared to individual motivation. An online questionnaire survey and partial least squares (PLS) were used to analyze and verify the proposed hypotheses. The results indicated that perceived self-efficacy and professional experience positively influence knowledge contribution in the online virtual community. However, individual motivations, which often are regarded as important influential factors in the real world, did not significantly influence knowledge contribution in the online virtual community.


Partial Little Square Cronbach Alpha Professional Experience Knowledge Exchange Virtual Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Burgess, D.: What Motivates Employees to Transfer Knowledge Outside their Work Unit? Journal of Business Communication 42, 324–348 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bock, G.W., Zmud, R.W., Kim, Y.G., Lee, G.N.: Behavioral Intention Formation in Knowledge Sharing: Examining the Roles of Extrinsic Motivators Social-Psychological Forces, and Organizational Climate. MIS Quarterly 29, 87–111 (2005)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Constant, D., Sproull, L., Kiesler, S.: The Kindness of Strangers: The Usefulness of Electronic Weak Ties for Technical Advice. Organization Science: A Journal of the Institute of Management Sciences 7, 119–135 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Osterloh, M., Frey, B.S.: Motivation, Knowledge Transfer, and Organizational Forms. Organization Science: A Journal of the Institute of Management Sciences 11, 538 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Szulanski, G.: The Process of Knowledge Transfer: A Diachronic Analysis of Stickiness. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes 82, 9–27 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wasko, M.M., Faraj, S.: Why should I Share? Examining Social Capital and Knowledge Contribution in Electronic Networks of Practice. MIS Quarterly 29, 35–57 (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kankanhalli, A., Tan, B., Wei, K.K.: Contributing Knowledge to Electronic Knowledge Repositories: An Empirical Investigation. MIS Quarterly 29, 113–143 (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Davenport, T.H., Prusak, L.: Work Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gray, P.H.: The Impact of Knowledge Repositories on Power and Control in the Workplace. Information Technology and People 14, 368–384 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Blau, P.M.: Exchange and Power in Social Life. Wiley, New York (1964)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ba, S., Stallaert, J., Whinston, A.B.: Research Commentary: Introducing a Third Dimension in Information Systems Design–the Case for Incentive Alignment. Information Systems Research 12, 225 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fehr, E., Gächter, S.: Reciprocity and Economics: The Economic Implications of Homo Reciprocans. European Economic Review 42, 845–859 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wasko, M.M., Faraj, S.: It is What One Does: Why People Participate and Help Others in Electronic Communities of Practice. Journal of Strategic Information Systems 9, 155–173 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rheingold, H.: The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. MIT Press, Cambridge (2000)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wilson, E.O.: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1975)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bandura, A.: Social Foundations of Thought and Action. Prentice-Hall, Englewood-Cliffs (1986)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gist, M.E., Mitchell, T.R.: Self-Efficacy: A Theoretical Analysis of its Determinants and Malleability. Academy of Management Review 17, 183–211 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cabrera, Á., Collins, W.C., Salgado, J.F.: Determinants of Individual Engagement in Knowledge Sharing. International Journal of Human Resource Management 17, 245–264 (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chin, W.W.: Issues and Opinion on Structural Equation Modeling. MIS Quarterly 22, 1 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chin, W.W., Todd, P.A.: On the use, Usefulness and Ease of use of Structural Equation Modeling in MIS Research: A Note of. MIS Quarterly 19, 237–246 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fornell, C., Larcker, D.F.: Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR) 18, 39–50 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bagozzi, R.P.: An Examination of the Validity of Two Models of Attitude. Multivariate Behavioral Research 16, 323–359 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ye, S., Chen, H., Jin, X.: An empirical study of what drives users to share knowledge in virtual communities. In: Lang, J., Lin, F., Wang, J. (eds.) KSEM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4092, pp. 563–575. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Darley, J.M., Latané, B.: Bystander Intervention in Emergencies: Diffusion of Responsibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 8, 377–383 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hangel III, J., Armstrong, A.G.: Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities. Mckinesy and Company (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chih-Chien Wang
    • 1
  • Cheng-Yu Lai
    • 1
  1. 1.Grad. Inst. of Information ManagementNational Taipei UniversityTaipei CityTaiwan

Personalised recommendations