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Behavioral factors influencing virtual knowledge sharing: theory of reasoned action

Farkhondeh Hassandoust (Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Selangor, Malaysia)
Rajasvaran Logeswaran (Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, Selangor, Malaysia)
Mehdy Farzaneh Kazerouni (Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, Selangor, Malaysia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 23 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of an exploratory investigation of the behavioral factors in relation to virtual knowledge sharing among Multimedia University students, Malaysia, based on the theory of reasoned action (TRA).

Design/methodology/approach

A search and review of the existing literature was followed by an empirical test of the proposed model in the pilot study (number of participants: n=50) and the main study (n=250).

Findings

Trust, anticipated reciprocal relationship and willingness to share knowledge as an individual's attitude; while identification and organizational culture acting as subjective norms, indirectly have an impact on individual's intention to share knowledge virtually. No positive relationship was discovered between the degree of competition and an individual's attitude to share knowledge; nor between collectivism and subjective norms.

Research limitations/implications

The results may have been influenced by self‐selection bias, as only one university was sampled.

Practical implications

This study encourages academic researchers and service providers in educational institutions to focus on an individual's attitude and institutional subjective norms to comprehend students’ behavior in virtual knowledge sharing and to improve the knowledge sharing activities among them, allowing scholars to benefit from better results in their routine academic tasks.

Originality/value

The results indicate that trust, anticipated reciprocal relationship and willingness to share knowledge were significant predictors of an individual's intention to share knowledge indirectly through their attitude toward knowledge sharing. Therefore, lecturers interested in developing and sustaining knowledge exchange through virtual communities should develop strategies or mechanisms that encourage the interaction and strength of the relationships among students. Lecturers can encourage reciprocity by using extrinsic motivators such as assigning rewards for knowledge sharing activities among students. Also, lecturers can facilitate the factor of “trust” among student relationships by enhancing the norm of reciprocity.

Keywords

Citation

Hassandoust, F., Logeswaran, R. and Farzaneh Kazerouni, M. (2011), "Behavioral factors influencing virtual knowledge sharing: theory of reasoned action", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 116-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/17581181111198665

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited