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Knowledge behavior in virtual communites: Linking knowledge seeking and sharing

Jae Kyung Kim, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Organizational knowledge has become one of important strategic resources and capabilities for organizations in the postindustrial era, strengthening innovation capability, competitive advantage, and dynamic capabilities. Despite the enormous efforts and investments in knowledge management systems, studies have found that the knowledge retained within organizations is generally not fully utilized through information systems. This dissertation studied the effect of knowledge seeking behaviors on knowledge sharing and promotion of virtual community through subject knowledge and sense of virtual community. To conduct this research in the specific context of virtual community, literature on passive and active knowledge seeking behavior, sense of virtual communities, meta-knowledge, knowledge sharing intention, and promotion intention was reviewed. ^ To test research hypotheses, a web-based survey was distributed to virtual community members in South Korea which was chosen due to the highest national percentage of the Internet service usage in the world. ^ Based on the results of this study, three attributes (searching, browsing, and monitoring) of knowledge seeking behavior were found to have significant effects on creating subject knowledge and sense of virtual community. Knowledge seeking behavior positively influenced generating virtual community members' subject knowledge and sense of virtual communities which in turn positively affected their knowledge sharing and promotion intention of virtual community. ^ One of the main contributions of this study is that the roles of knowledge seeking behavior are important factors in virtual community members' knowledge sharing intention. Organization managers should consider knowledge seeking behavior as not only a self-interested, consuming activity, but also a productive activity through its creating function of subject knowledge and virtual sense of community. Moreover, they must understand the role of passive knowledge seeking mode (knowledge monitoring) is prominent despite its invisible nature. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management

Recommended Citation

Kim, Jae Kyung, "Knowledge behavior in virtual communites: Linking knowledge seeking and sharing" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3352851.