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Why do members contribute knowledge to online communities?

Shih‐Wei Chou (Department of Information Management, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 30 November 2010




This study aims to better understand individuals' motives for contributing knowledge in an online community.


An integrated model is developed based on a motivational model and social cognitive theory. To validate the model two online communities: the Electronic Engineering Times in Taiwan and China were surveyed.


It was found that both perceived identity verification and performance expectancy are positively associated with satisfaction, which in turn affects knowledge contribution. Performance expectancy is affected by both computer self‐efficacy and computer anxiety, and perceived identity verification is influenced by members' innovativeness in IT.


This is the first study which aims to assess the relationships between individuals' differences, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and knowledge contribution. The findings can help managers to build an effective community.



Chou, S. (2010), "Why do members contribute knowledge to online communities?", Online Information Review, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 829-854.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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