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Influence on Willingness of Virtual Community's Knowledge Sharing: Based on Social Capital Theory and Habitual Domain

Authors: Szu-Yuan Sun, Teresa L. Ju, Hao-Fan Chumg, Chang-Yao Wu, Pei-Ju Chao


Despite the fact that Knowledge Sharing (KS) is very important, we found only little discussion about the reasons why people have the willingness to share knowledge at such platform even though there is no immediate benefit to the persons who contribute knowledge in it. The aim of this study is to develop an integrative understanding of the factors that support or inhibit individuals- knowledge sharing intentions in virtual communities and to find whether habit would generate people-s willingness to be involved. We apply Social Capital Theory (SCT), and we also add two dimensions for discussion: member incentive and habitual domain (HD). This research assembles the questionnaire from individuals who have experienced knowledge sharing in virtual communities, and applies survey and Structural Equation Model (SEM) to analyze the results from the questionnaires. Finally, results confirm that individuals are willing to share knowledge in virtual communities: (1) if they consider reciprocity, centrality, and have longer tenure in their field, and enjoy helping. (2) if they have the habit of sharing knowledge. This study is useful for the developers of virtual communities to insight into knowledge sharing in cyberspace.

Keywords: virtual community, Knowledge sharing, Habitual domains, social capital theory

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