Social capital and knowledge sharing in online communities: A mediation model

Sally P M LAW*, Ludwig M K CHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Social capital theory has been used widely to explain knowledge contribution. However, most of the previous studies have focused on investigating the direct impact of social capital, while the underlying mechanism by which social capital affects knowledge contribution has not been fully understood. It has been argued that social capital facilitates knowledge exchange by affecting the conditions necessary for exchange, not the exchange behavior itself. We developed a research model in which anticipated status enhancement and community identification were identified as two mediators between social capital and the willingness to contribute knowledge. PLS analyses based on data collected from 448 online community members show that the two mediators affect knowledge contribution positively. Except shared language, all other social capital factors, namely, instrumental network ties, expressive network ties, community trustworthiness, and norms of cooperation have significant positive effects on the mediators and their indirect effects on knowledge contribution are also significant.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-45
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9780769545257
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-45) - Maui, HI, United States
    Duration: 4 Jan 20127 Jan 2012

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
    ISSN (Print)1530-1605


    Conference2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-45)
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityMaui, HI

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Engineering(all)

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