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Understanding knowledge management phenomena in virtual communities from a goal-directed approach

Shih-Wei Chou (National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Chia-Shiang Hsu (Department of Marketing Management, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Jiun-Yan Shiau (Department of Logistics Management, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Ming-Kung Huang (College of Management, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Yi Chou (Graduate Institute of International Business, College of Management, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 4 June 2018

648

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the formation of knowledge management (KM) decisions, including intention for knowledge contribution and knowledge exploration. The authors build on the goal-directed model and a trust-based lens to develop a belief-trust-decision framework. The authors theorize belief as individual factors (one’s virtual skill) and environmental factors (cooperative norms, familiarity), and trust as emotional trust and cognitive trust. Individual factors represent one’s virtual skill to control knowledge exchange, while environmental factors reflect the level of support/control for this exchange by the context.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a survey method to collect data and partial least squares to analyze them.

Findings

The authors found that KM decision is affected by two types of trust, directly or indirectly. They are, in turn, influenced by individual factors and environmental factors.

Research limitations/implications

Generalizability of the findings to virtual communities with different collaboration protocol deserves further investigation. This study contributes to the research on KM and social behavior by providing a comprehensive explanation on KM decision through one’s goal achievement in knowledge exchange behavior, in terms of trust development. Besides, the authors theorize one’s belief on knowledge exchange as skill-control and context-control to represent the drivers for trust.

Practical implications

The results provide suggestion for managers regarding how skill-control and context-control should be managed to improve trust development, which serves as goal achievement for KM decisions.

Originality/value

The authors extend prior work by yielding a new insight into how and why one’s beliefs on skill-control and context-control for knowledge exchange are transferred into KM decision through one’s goal achievement, characterized as trust development at both emotional and cognitive levels.

Keywords

Citation

Chou, S.-W., Hsu, C.-S., Shiau, J.-Y., Huang, M.-K. and Chou, Y. (2018), "Understanding knowledge management phenomena in virtual communities from a goal-directed approach", Internet Research, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 652-674. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-05-2017-0200

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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