IJIET 2015 Vol.5(6): 466-471 ISSN: 2010-3689
DOI: 10.7763/IJIET.2015.V5.551

Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Distributed Environments: Main Motivators, Discrepancies of Findings and Suggestions for Future Research

Yongsi Chen and Khe Foon Hew

Abstract—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.

Index Terms—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: vincychan928@gmail.com, kfhew@ hku.hk).

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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.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (Since 2019), EI(INSPEC, IET), EBSCO, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, Crossref, etc.
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net