The purpose of this paper is to examine whether social networking site (SNS) communities benefit from collective knowledge and collaboration, which represent a portfolio of knowledge transfer on SNSs.
A survey was conducted on a large scale through an online questionnaire. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze data collected from 674 experienced SNS users.
The results indicate that all three exogenous variables, presented as user characteristics and integrated into SNS user characteristics, were positively related to the knowledge transfer portfolio, namely, to collective knowledge and collaboration, and these variables had significant moderating effects on SNS users’ community cohesiveness. Early SNS adoption was more likely than late SNS adoption to moderate the relationship between collective knowledge and community cohesiveness and that between collective collaboration and community cohesiveness.
The findings provide useful insights for SNS operators to enhance the process of collaborative knowledge transfer. They may also be used to obtain better insights into important factors that require closer attention during SNS use.
The present study provides a systematic analysis of SNS use by considering a new research model and investigating the effects of SNS-based knowledge transfer on user outcomes based on three major characteristics of SNS users. The results are expected to provide a major foundation for further SNS research and a better understanding of the relationships between SNS user characteristics, knowledge transfer, and community cohesiveness.
This work was supported by the 2013 Yeungnam University Research Grant, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos 71502145, 71473206, 71371157), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Nos JBK160932, 268SWJTU15WCX02).
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