Knowledge sharing and professional online communities acceptance : an integrated model

Montash, Mohammed Abdel-Hakim

Business
January 2014

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2014 Mohammed Abdel-Hakim Montash. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

This study aims to advance empirical research in the realm of the use of professional online communities for knowledge sharing. Use of these communities is likely to be influenced not only by social factors but also by cognitive and technological factors. Hence, drawing upon theoretical and empirical foundations and contextually relevant previous research, three theoretical frameworks were developed and applied, in which relational factors (trust), individual factors (knowledge/system self-efficacy), and technological factors (system quality and content quality) were integrated together with the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) to examine the use of professional online communities to acquire/provide knowledge among professionals. To test these theoretical models, an online web-survey was administered to 366 members of eight professional communities in Egypt.

Employing covariance-based structural equation modelling (CB-SEM), the results of this study confirmed that professional online communities have emerged as an essential channel to facilitate knowledge sharing among professionals. Performance expectancy and personal outcome expectancy were found to be the strongest determinants of professional online community use. Relational capital - trust - was found to be a significant predictor of usage behaviour. However, for members who used the community for knowledge provision, trust was found to have a stronger influence than was perceived trust on using the community for knowledge acquisition. For members who used the community for knowledge acquisition, effort expectancy and social influence revealed significant effect, in contrast to members who use the community for knowledge provision. Regarding the hypotheses common to both use behaviours, the findings demonstrated some significant differences. Content quality, for example, seemed to have a clearly stronger influence on trust than system quality in all models. Content quality showed stronger effect on trust for using professional online communities for knowledge provision than using for knowledge acquisition, while system quality was found to be a stronger predictor of trust in the use for knowledge acquisition. For effort expectancy, system quality tended to have a stronger influence than system self-efficacy in all models; however, the influence of system quality on effort expectancy tended to be more important when online communities are used for knowledge acquisition.

As for moderating effects, the influence of performance expectancy on use for knowledge acquisition and the influence of personal outcome expectancy on use for knowledge provision were found to be moderated by users’ gender (stronger for men) and age (stronger for younger users), while the influence of performance expectancy on use for knowledge acquisition was found to be influenced by users’ experience (stronger for less experienced users).

Publisher
Business School, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Vidgen, Richard; Dwivedi, Ashish N.
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
13 MB
Identifier
hull:10419
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