Knowledge sharing in virtual communities: A study of citizenship behavior and its social-relational antecedents

Bo Xu, Dahui Li, Bingjia Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A virtual community is a type of online structure that enables Internet users to communicate and collaborate. Users' knowledge contributions are critical to the viability and sustainability of virtual communities. This article studies virtual community members' knowledge sharing from the perspective of citizenship behavior defined as members' spontaneous contribution to the community without expectation of return or reciprocation. The social-relational antecedents of citizenship behavior are explored through an examination of how members' general attitude and desire for relationship building and maintaining, including attachment motivation, social support orientation, and disposition to trust influence their trusting beliefs and citizenship knowledge-sharing behavior. Hypotheses are developed and tested with survey data from Chinese and American users of virtual communities. In general, the results of data analyses support our research model. This article contributes empirically to virtual community research and has practical implications for virtual community development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-359
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of human-computer interaction
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 09CTQ023).


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