Intention to adopt knowledge through virtual communities: Posters vs lurkers

Shuling Liao, En Yi Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Purpose-This study aims to examine the social capital and technical determinants of knowledge adoption intentions in virtual communities and to explore the differences between posters and lurkers. Design/methodology/ approach-An online survey was conducted with a sample of 318 virtual community participants for a structural equation model test. Findings-The structural and cognitive social capital, peer influence, and perceived usefulness positively contribute to virtual community participants' attitudes and intentions toward knowledge adoption. Lurkers' attitudes are more influenced by network ties, reciprocity norms, shared vision, and perceived usefulness, whereas posters are more affected by social trust and shared language. Research limitations/ implications-The results produced in the Chinese context may not fully apply to other cultures. Practical implications-Devising effective strategies to increase social capital and content value is crucial for fostering virtual community members' positive attitudes toward knowledge adoption. Originality/value-This study is one of the first to combine and examine social capital and technology acceptance theories with regard to the knowledge adoption intentions of posters and lurkers in virtual communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-461
Number of pages20
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • Knowledge adoption
  • Lurkers
  • Posters
  • Social capital
  • Social networks
  • Technology acceptance model
  • User studies
  • Virtual communities


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