Are you ready for knowledge sharing? An empirical study of virtual communities

Shiu Wan Hung, Min Jhih Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the relationship between knowledge sharing intentions and the perceptions of individual technology users who are members of virtual communities. We characterized learners' perceptions of new technological products or services by including both an individual's psychological state of readiness to accept technology and also compatibility as factors affecting technology acceptance. By adopting virtual communities as samples for this empirical study, the Technology Acceptance Model, Technology Readiness Index, and the factor of compatibility were integrated in order to explore users' perceptions of technology. We analyzed the responses of 218 participants from these virtual communities using structural equation modeling. The empirical results showed that an individual's positive attitude, such as optimism, toward the Technology Readiness Index positively affects acceptance of technology; an individual's negative perception of the Technology Readiness Index, such as discomfort, has a negative effect on his or her sense of the perceived ease of technology and compatibility in regard to prior experience and technology. A sense of insecurity toward the new technology also showed a significant effect on the individual's perceptions of the usefulness of technology. The results of this research demonstrated that improving an individual's degree of adaptability to technology could increase knowledge-sharing intentions in virtual communities. Meanwhile, the degree of the individual's discomfort with technology did not hinder knowledge-sharing intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-17
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Education
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Distributed learning environments
  • Human-computer interface
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Learning communities

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