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Communication behavior and online knowledge collaboration: evidence from Wikipedia
- Communication behavior and online knowledge collaboration: evidence from Wikipedia
- Park, Hyunjung; Park, Sung Joo
- Ewha Authors
- SCOPUS Author ID
- Issue Date
- Journal Title
- JOURNAL OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
- 1367-3270; 1758-7484
- vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 769 - 792
- Knowledge creation; Knowledge sharing; Online community; Communication behavior; Online knowledge collaboration
- EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD
- SSCI; SCOPUS
- Purpose - This paper aims to elucidate the collaborative mechanism of knowledge collaboration in online communities. The effects of participant communication behaviors enabling knowledge collaboration, such as public discussion, private messaging and registration, are comprehensively investigated in relation to individual and group performances. Design/methodology/approach - Eight communication categories of participants are defined according to their communication behaviors, and the average number of knowledge contributions at the individual level and the helpfulness toward collaboration efficiency at the group level are compared across the participant categories. Findings - The results show that simultaneous participation in both task-oriented public discussion and relationship-oriented private messaging has a synergistic effect in promoting individual knowledge sharing, and that additional registration - disclosing one's identity - significantly enhances efficiency in group collaboration. The role of public discussion appears to be as significant as that of private messaging with regard to online knowledge collaboration. Practical implications - First, encouraging members to participate in both task-oriented discussion and casual personal communication is important for eliciting more knowledge contributions. Second, although social capital based on one-to-one private messaging has attracted much attention with respect to knowledge sharing, many-to-many public discussions that more deeply and broadly influence knowledge conversion should be more highly emphasized. Third, the perceptions of shared value and reputation based on registration also need to be cultivated to increase collaboration efficiency. Originality/value - In contrast to most previous research that focused on only one type of communication, this study offers a big-picture view of the relationship between communication and online knowledge collaboration by adopting a comprehensive approach to participant communication behavior. A systematic classification of communication behaviors enables this work to illuminate the diverse effects of different communication types or styles on both individual-and group-level performances, thereby improving the understanding of the overall collaborative mechanism. This study thus provides fresh insights on effective management of online communities.
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