A Qualitative Study of Web-Based Knowledge Communities: Examining Success Factors

A Qualitative Study of Web-Based Knowledge Communities: Examining Success Factors

Hui Lin (DePaul University, USA), Weiguo Fan (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA) and Zhongju Zhang (University of Connecticut School of Business, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jec.2009070103
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Web-based knowledge communities (WKCs) have become prevalent in recent years for individuals with similar interests to collectively engage in knowledge acquisition and exchange in a global context. The growing popularity of WKCs and their fast penetration into almost all aspects of life call for more research on this important area. In this study, we explore and examine success factors of WKCs. To accomplish this research objective, we conducted a qualitative study to uncover a list of success factors that would affect the success of WKCs. Through open and axial data coding techniques using a grounded theory approach, we identified four main success factors: information quality, system quality, community governance, and pro-sharing norms. We further categorized dimensions of information quality, system quality, and community governance. Based on the results, we proposed a conceptual framework to examine WKC success. The implications are also discussed.

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