This research aims at investigating the knowledge sharing-behaviors in a teachers’ professional virtual community. Logs data in the entire community and in special interest groups (SIGs) were analyzed. Some typical behaviors were identified by the clustering analysis in this study. The largest group of member belongs to inactive users. They rarely log in the system, are passive in uploading or downloading teaching materials, and almost never post or reply messages. Another group is active in receiving knowledge while reluctant to give knowledge or to respond. The third group frequently login the system, is the most active in sharing knowledge, and actively searching knowledge. However, the third group contains only a small number of members. Furthermore, fifty-five members of the knowledge-sharing group were interviewed using focus group technique to find out qualitative information as to why they are willing to share information and what are their concerns in sharing information.
The results indicated that knowledge sharing is not a common behavior in professional virtual community, and knowledge-sharing culture is difficult to promote even in non-competitive professional communities. Secondly, knowledge cannot flow easily throughout the community even when certain knowledge flow promoting mechanism is provided. Thirdly, professional autonomy may hinder the frequency of interactions with others in professional virtual community. Fourthly, attitudes regarding information ownership are important factors in knowledge sharing of a professional virtual community. Finally, teaching and IT usage experiences are not major factors affecting knowledge-sharing behavior in pro fessional virtual communities.
Lin, Sheng-cheng; Huang, Shiu-li; Lin, Hsin-hui; Lin, Fen-hui; and Lin, Fu-ren, "Investigating the Knowledge-Sharing Behavior ina Professional Virtual Community" (2001). ICEB 2001 Proceedings. 39.