Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Information Systems

Major Professor

Anol Bhattacherjee, Ph.D.

Keywords

Governance, Expert-governance, Community-governance, Knowledge contribution, Knowledge use

Abstract

Drawing upon the concept of governance, this dissertation refers to the two most commonly employed mechanisms that ensure high quality knowledge in electronic repositories as expert-governance and community-governance. In three related but distinct essays, the dissertation examines the governance concept, and investigates contributing knowledge to and using knowledge from electronic repositories governed by these two mechanisms. The first essay sets the conceptual foundations of knowledge governance in repositories, and examines the salient aspects of expert- and community-governance that contribute to knowledge quality. The essay adopts an interpretive research methodology and analyzes empirical data collected from a range of organizations using interviews and online questionnaires.

Findings suggest that executing governance functions thoroughly, experts' credibility, and experts' ownership of content contribute to knowledge quality in expert-governed repositories; and executing governance functions continuously and by a diverse set of members, and members' involvement in governance contribute to knowledge quality in community-governed repositories. The second essay investigates the factors that influence individuals to make voluntary contributions to expert- and community-governed repositories. This essay employs the same research methodology used in Essay I and suggests that personal benefits is a stronger motivator for contributing to expert-governed, and reciprocity is a stronger motivator for contributing to community-governed repositories when these two repositories are implemented on an individual basis in organizational settings.

When the two repositories are implemented simultaneously, two sets of factors influence contribution behaviors: knowledge-based factors include the type, formality, and sensitivity of knowledge; and need-based factors include the need for collaboration, expert validation, and recognition. The third essay investigates knowledge use from expert- and community-governed repositories using a positivist perspective. It conducts a controlled experiment drawing upon elaboration likelihood model, and finds that the credibility of a governance mechanism positively affects subjects' perceptions of knowledge quality as well as their intentions to use knowledge, which in turn affect their actual knowledge use. This essay also conducts within-subject comparisons using repeated measures ANOVA to shed light on subjects' perceptions of expert- and community-governed knowledge assets.

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