A Cross-Cultural Comparison on Contributors’ Motivations to Online Knowledge Sharing: Chinese vs. Germans

  • Bin Zhu
  • Qin Gao
  • Eike Nohdurft
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8528)


Wikipedia is the most popular online knowledge sharing platform in western countries. However, it is not widely accepted in eastern countries. This indicates that culture plays a key role in determining users’ acceptance of online knowledge sharing platforms. The purpose of this study is to investigate the cultural differences between Chinese and Germans in motivations for sharing knowledge, and further examine the impacts of these motives on the actual behavior across two cultures. A questionnaire was developed to explore the motivation factors and actual behavior of contributors. 100 valid responses were received from Chinese and 34 responses from the Germans. The results showed that the motivations were significantly different between Chinese and Germans. The Chinese had more consideration for others and cared more about receiving reward and strengthening the relationship, whereas Germans had more concerns about losing competitiveness. The impact of the motives on the actual behavior was also different between Chinese and Germans.


cross-cultural differences knowledge sharing Wikipedia 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Zhu
    • 1
  • Qin Gao
    • 1
  • Eike Nohdurft
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingP.R. China

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