Understanding knowledge sharing in virtual communities: An integration of expectancy disconfirmation and justice theories

Chao Min Chiu, Eric T.G. Wang, Fu Jong Shih, Yi Wen Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the motivations behind people's intentions to continue knowledge sharing (continuance intention) in open professional virtual communities. Design/methodology/approach - Data collected from 270 members of a professional virtual community provides partial support for the proposed model. LISREL 8.5 was used to analyse the measurement and structural models. Findings - The results show that playfulness is critical for the community members' satisfaction and continuance intention. However, only positive self-worth disconfirmation, distributive justice, and interactional justice can influence the satisfaction of the community members. Research limitations/implications - The data were collected from a single open professional community; the generalisation of the model and findings to other virtual communities requires additional research. The findings imply that justice factors appear to be important in leading to higher satisfaction levels. Practical implications - Developers of virtual communities should create a more enjoyable online environment and raise the core knowledge contributors' sense of self-worth. Originality/value - A theoretical model was constructed in which individual motivation factors, social network factors, and justice theory are integrated with expectancy disconfirmation theory to investigate the motivations behind people's continuance intention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-153
Number of pages20
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Communities
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Open systems
  • Professional associations
  • Virtual work


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