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Knowledge sharing in wiki communities: an empirical study

Wei‐Tsong Wang (Department of Industrial and Information Management, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China)
Zu‐Hao Wei (Institute of Information Management, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Prior research indicates that the success of a virtual community relies on its ability to allow community members to share knowledge interactively. Wiki applications are web‐based hypertext applications that facilitate collaborative authoring, and have been widely adopted by virtual communities to facilitate knowledge sharing and accumulation. Nevertheless very few studies have empirically investigated the dynamics of how these applications contribute to the development and continuity of virtual communities by enhancing the knowledge sharing intentions of community members. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model was developed to explain and predict the knowledge sharing intentions of virtual community members. Survey data collected from 232 wiki community members were examined using structural equation modelling to verify the theoretical model.

Findings

The research results confirm the positive influence of the use of wiki applications on knowledge sharing intention through the mediating effects of member interactions, community participation, and community promotion. However it was found that community trust and community identification had no significant effect on knowledge sharing intention.

Originality/value

Very few studies have empirically investigated the relationships among the characteristics of wiki applications, virtual community outcomes (participation, promotion, trust, and identification), and the knowledge sharing intentions of virtual community members. The research findings can enrich our understanding of how wiki or other similar technologies affect the sharing of knowledge within virtual communities. This can, in turn, provide both virtual community administrators and managers of organisations with guidelines for creating successful knowledge sharing practices.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, W. and Wei, Z. (2011), "Knowledge sharing in wiki communities: an empirical study", Online Information Review, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 799-820. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684521111176516

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited