To obtain or to provide? Antecedents of knowledge intentions in virtual knowledge communities: Self -efficacy, individual motivations, and social capital

Kyung Woo Kang, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

This study investigates individual participants' underlying motivational factors with regard to their knowledge exchange intentions (intention to obtain and to provide knowledge) in virtual community contexts. Drawing upon the widely employed related theories (Social-Cognitive, Social Exchange, and Social Capital Theory), a series of hypotheses are advanced to examine the differing influences of each of the antecedents on the two knowledge intentions and also to investigate the relationships among those antecedents of knowledge exchange intentions. The antecedents included in this study are from six sub-groups: Personality (knowledge self-efficacy and Internet self-efficacy); Individual motivation (reputation and enjoyment in helping others); Relational capital (virtual trust and identification); Structural capital (virtual network connectivity and virtual network closeness); Anonymity (anonymity); and Cognitive capital (shared language, shared reciprocity, and shared vision). Data collected from virtual knowledge community participants through online survey are analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) to empirically test the proposed hypotheses.^ The results demonstrate that ‘Reputation’ and ‘Enjoyment of Helping Others’ are strong motivating factors for ‘intention to provide knowledge’; Cognitive Capital constructs including ‘Shared Reciprocity,’ ‘Shared Vision,’ ‘Shared Language,’ and ‘Trust’ are important factors explaining ‘intention to obtain knowledge.’ Through the comparative analyses between information technology (IT) professionals group and Non-IT group and knowledge exchange group and relationship/recreation group, it is found that the influence of ‘Identification’ onto the intention to provide knowledge is moderated by occupational factor (IT vs. Non-IT group) and the impact of ‘Virtual Network Connectivity’ on the intention to obtain knowledge is moderated by the main reason for VC participation (knowledge exchange group vs. relationship/recreation group). Implications of this study may shed light in better understanding of the antecedents of intention to obtain and provide knowledge and their relationships in the context of virtual knowledge exchange.^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing|Business Administration, Management|Information Technology

Recommended Citation

Kyung Woo Kang, "To obtain or to provide? Antecedents of knowledge intentions in virtual knowledge communities: Self -efficacy, individual motivations, and social capital" (2009). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3380531.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3380531

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