Knowledge Sharing: Effects of Cooperative Type and Reciprocity Level

Knowledge sharing is an important research area in knowledge management. This study broadens

the perspective on knowledge sharing by investigating an individual’s behavior type as a

cooperator, reciprocator, and free rider toward knowledge contribution. In this study, we view

shared knowledge in a community of practice as a public good and adopt a theory of reciprocity

to explain how different cooperative types affect knowledge contribution. In the perspective of

shared knowledge as a public good, people may react in three ways: they share knowledge without

need for reciprocity (cooperators), they feel obligated to share their knowledge (reciprocators),

or they take knowledge for granted (free riders). Analytic and simulation results reveal that the

fraction of cooperators is positively related to total knowledge contribution and to the reciprocity

level, while the reciprocity level positively affects knowledge contribution.

Publication Information
Article Title: Knowledge Sharing: Effects of Cooperative Type and Reciprocity Level
Journal: International Journal of Knowledge Management (2006)
Vol. 2, No. 4
Author(s): Lee, Sang M;  Kim, J.;  Olson, D.
Researcher Information
Lee, Sang M
Lee, Sang M
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information Systems
  • International - Europe
  • International - South and Central America
  • International - Asia
CoB 325 AA
P.O. Box 880491
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491, USA
Phone: (402) 472-3915