—Knowledge sharing research has proposed various
theories and explanations regarding individuals’ intentions to
share knowledge in virtual distributed communities. Although
past research studies can provide useful insights into the factors
that significantly affect knowledge sharing intention, there are
some discrepancies of findings among the different studies. The
main purpose of this paper is to review the previous empirical
research studies to first identify the main theories and factors
used to explain online knowledge sharing. The findings suggest
that these incentive items could be grouped into three main
categories: personal factors (knowledge self-efficacy, perceived
relative advantage, perceived compatibility), social factors
(trust, reciprocity, social network ties), and organizational
factors (formal incentive mechanism). Of these factors, trust
has been the most widely discussed, followed by social network
ties. Next, this paper presents several main discrepancies among
past research studies in order such as the notion of perceived
compatibility, norm of reciprocity, and trust to provide possible
directions for future studies.
—Knowledge sharing, virtual community of
practice, motivation, finding discrepancies.
The authors are with the Division of Information & Technology Studies,
Faulty of Education at the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong
Kong (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, kfhew@ hku.hk).
Cite: Yongsi Chen and Khe Foon Hew, "Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Distributed Environments: Main Motivators, Discrepancies of Findings and Suggestions for Future Research," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 466-471, 2015.