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The Effect of Social Context on the Success of Knowledge Repository Systems

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3 Author(s)
Gee-Woo Bock ; SunKyunKwan Univ., Seoul ; Sabherwal, R. ; ZhiJiang Qian

Knowledge repository systems (KRSs) have gained popularity for enabling knowledge codification and reuse. This paper develops and tests a model of KRS success, including perceived KRS searchability, perceived KRS output quality, perceived usefulness, and user satisfaction, and examines how three aspects of social context (extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, and organizational trust) affect these dimensions of KRS success. Empirical results from a survey of 141 KRS users in China and Singapore indicate that perceived KRS output quality depends on KRS searchability and the social context, perceived usefulness depends on perceived KRS output quality, and user satisfaction depends on perceived KRS output quality and perceived KRS searchability. However, the study provides some surprises: perceived KRS searchability only indirectly (through perceived KRS output quality) affects perceived usefulness, and the social context directly affects only perceived KRS output quality and not perceived usefulness. Our results suggest a four-pronged approach toward enhancing knowledge contribution and reuse in organizations: 1) developing organizational trust; 2) facilitating intrinsic rewards for knowledge contribution, partly through organizational trust; 3) the exercise of caution in the use of extrinsic rewards; and 4) the design of a KRS with a high level of searchability.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 4 )