Knowledge sharing platforms are embracing paid services to monetize online knowledge, yet which are facing the challenge of motivating user participation. In this paper, we focus on a prominent form of participation, named paid knowledge sharing. Consumers (i.e., users who pay for knowledge) are allowed to share the knowledge acquired from experts (i.e., users who provide professional knowledge) with listeners (i.e., general users who are interested in the knowledge). Given multiple stakeholders and the complex paid sharing mechanism, consumers’ participation in sharing are uncertain. Leveraging on the equity theory, we propose a research model to examine the effect of knowledge-acquisition cost (i.e., knowledge price) on the consumer’s decision to share. Using a unique data from a popular paid Q&A service in China, we testify that knowledge-acquisition cost negatively influences the consumer’s decision to share. Interestingly, we find this effect can be alleviated by peers’ sharing behaviors, but not by financial incentives. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Liu, Yayuan; Tong, Yu; and Jin, Haofeng, "Knowledge Sharing in Paid Q&A Service: Examining the Role of Acquisition Cost" (2021). PACIS 2021 Proceedings. 115.
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