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Knowledge-Sharing Successes in Web 2.0 Communities

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1 Author(s)
Allen, J.P. ; Sch. of Bus. & Prof. Studies, Univ. of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Knowledge sharing in contemporary research is seen largely as a particular kind of "social dilemma" the public goods problem. Because people can benefit from public goods whether they contribute to them or not, there will always be the temptation to free-ride off the contributions of others. Knowledge-sharing behavior is scarcer that many would prefer, according to this argument, because of an incentive problem. The incentive problem can be overcome either by increasing the benefits to individual contributors, or by encouraging more pro-social behavior through group identity or other social processes. While most knowledge management research has focused on shared repositories within organizations, a potentially new form of knowledge sharing within, between, and outside of organizations has recently emerged: online content sharing communities using Web 2.0 technologies. How is knowledge sharing in Web 2.0 communities different? Do Web 2.0 communities solve certain classic knowledge management problems, or do they create new barriers to knowledge sharing?

Published in:

Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )