User motivations and knowledge sharing in an online innovation community


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ISPIM Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 19.6.2012

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User motivations and knowledge sharing in an online innovation community

  1. 1. Users’ motivations and knowledge sharing inan online innovation communityPost-doctoral researcher Miia KosonenPhD student Chunmei GanProf. Kirsimarja BlomqvistPost-doctoral researcher Mika VanhalaLappeenranta University of Technology, Finland &Central China Normal University, Wuhan, ChinaISPIM, Barcelona 19.6.2012
  2. 2. Background and research gapsGetting valuable user input into the innovation process – consumerism & co-innovatorsWhat motivates users to participate in a crowdsourcing community andopenly share their knowledge- Online communities studied since 1990s, but online crowdsourcing a morenovel phenomenon – do user motivations differ, and if so, how?- Practical relevance: very few empirical studies in real-life, firm-hostedcrowdsourcing communitiesResearch questions:- How individual members’ propensity to trust, intrinsic motivation andextrinsic motivation drive the intentions to share knowledge in acrowdsourcing community?- Does the intention to share knowledge become manifested as actualknowledge-sharing behaviour?
  3. 3. Key conceptsPropensity to trust – general expectancy of trust based on individualsocialization and personality (Rotter, 1967, McKnight et al., 1998)Motivation – psychological state describing how one focuses attentiontowards certain task elements, and how much effort people dedicatetowards that task (Mitchell and Daniels, 2003)Intrinsic motivation – performing an activity or task for its own sakerather than means to an end (Deci and Ryan, 2000)• expected internal benefits such as learning, socializing, enjoyment – theso-called Uses & gratifications approach (Katz et al., 1974)Extrinsic motivation – performing an activity or task to attain anoutcome stemming from external sources (Ryan and Deci, 2000)• expected external benefits such as rewards or recognition
  4. 4. Key concepts & research contextOnline (innovation) community – a group of voluntary memberssharing a certain interest and collaborating around such interestusing online communication technologiesCrowdsourcing – outsourcing a task by making an open call to anundefined but large group of peopleIdea crowdsourcing – soliciting and facilitating user input to developor modify products and servicesCrowdsourcing community – online innovation platform where ideasor other input by identifiable users is provided in an on-going basis,in contrast to temporary groups
  5. 5. Research model and hypothesesPropensity to trustIntrinsic motivation- learning benefits- social benefits- hedonic benefitsExtrinsic motivation- recognition frompeers- recognition from thehost companyIntention to shareknowledgeKnowledgesharing behaviorH1H2aH2bH2cH3aH3bH4
  6. 6. Research methods and data collectionWeb-based survey among Chinese users of IdeasProject− Idea crowdsourcing community powered and hosted by Nokia, launched in2011− Open idea space & periodic idea challenges around specific themesData collected in February-April 2012, resulting in 283 responses, ofwhich 244 were valid for further analysis− 84 % of respondents were male− 74,2 % of respondents were between 18 and 28 years old− Mostly newcomers – 73 % has been a member for less than one month
  7. 7. Results1. Knowledge sharing intentions are driven byexpected social and learning benefits2. Also recognition from the host company playsan important role3. Hedonic benefits, e.g. enjoyment of developingideas, and propensity to trust did not have asignificant effect on sharing intentions4. Intentions to share knowledge lead to actualknowledge sharing behaviour
  8. 8. Conclusions”Soft” issues such as socializing and helping others emphasized inknowledge sharing…at the expense of concrete rewards and esteem− It is not enough to measure one’s attitudes or intentions towards sharingknowledge; you also need to take into account the expected benefitsand actual levels of knowledge sharing− propensity of trust did not play a role; as in Ridings et al. (2002) study inonline communities, propensity to trust could affect perceived trusttowards other users but not sharing knowledge
  9. 9. Conclusions− Contributes by bringing the literature of motivation and Uses &gratifications (U&G) into the novel context of idea crowdsourcingand providing empirical evidence− Unravels the different types of benefits members expect whensharing product-related ideas – it is not just ”when we build it,customers will come”
  10. 10. Thank you!Contact detailsMiia KosonenPhD, Senior researcherLappeenranta University of TechnologyP.O.Box 20, 53851