– Virtual communities of practice (VCoP) are seen as effective means to facilitate knowledge building among professionals. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between system quality, attitude toward incentives and knowledge sharing in a VCoP. Additionally, individual and collective effect of system quality and attitude toward incentives on knowledge sharing are also examined.
– This is an empirical study that targets a major community of practice in human resource management (n=366), utilizing a survey questionnaire distributed on the internet as the data collection instrument to test the relationship among the three dimensions.
– The results indicated that: system quality and attitude toward incentives individually have demonstrated a significant effect on knowledge sharing behavior in a VCoP. Collectively, only factors within the attitude toward incentive dimension have demonstrated significant influences on the community participants' knowledge sharing behavior.
– This study provides managers of VCoP with valuable information which aids in improving community members' knowledge sharing. That is, a successful VCoP is an online environment which provides a variety of social exchange opportunities for the members to interact, as well as challenging topics or tasks enabling the members to practice or gain professional knowledge and skills.
– Regardless of the fact that knowledge sharing processes are becoming increasingly complex and diverse, providing various kinds of incentive is still crucial in eliciting people's engagement in knowledge sharing. Only reinforcing social exchanges and providing opportunities of self‐growth will enhance knowledge sharing behavior.
– Knowledge sharing is a complex process. Literature indicated that some factors, such as motivation, attitudes, and individual preferences, are considered double‐edged factors to knowledge sharing among individuals. The present study adds value by examining the individual and collective effects of these factors (i.e. the members' perceived VCoP system quality and attitude toward incentives) on knowledge sharing.
Industrial Management & Data Systems 113(7), p.1048-1063