Exploring the effects of online social ties on knowledge sharing : A comparative analysis of collocated vs dispersed teams

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-463
Journal / PublicationJournal of Information Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


This study examines the different mechanisms of online social ties underlying individual knowledge sharing through comparative perspectives of collocated vs geographically dispersed teams. By integrating social capital theory and social cognitive theory, this study develops a theoretical model that predicts individual knowledge sharing. Next, the study uses social network analysis to empirically test the proposed model using 186 participants: 84 on collocated teams and 102 on dispersed teams. The results indicate that the frequency of online interaction does not affect knowledge sharing in collocated teams, while it plays a critical role in stimulating motivational factors that affect knowledge sharing of dispersed teams. On the other hand, centrality of online interaction positively influences trust of collocated teams and norms of reciprocity of dispersed teams. Based on these findings, this study suggests users should manage online social ties as carefully as offline social ties to facilitate knowledge sharing in work groups. © The Author(s), 2010.

Research Area(s)

  • Comparative perspective, Dispersed team, Online social ties, Social capital theory, Social network analysis