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Managing information sharing in online communities and marketplaces
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2015 (English)In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 58, no 3, 347-353 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Companies can engage with many online social networks and communities to attract customers, disseminate product information, conduct research, and stimulate innovation. However, for these activities to be successful, it is key that consumers at these platforms trust each other and are willing to share their knowledge freely. The study presented in this article assesses what companies can do to encourage members of online communities and marketplaces to share information with others. For this purpose, a netnographic study was conducted of, an online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage products. The study revealed several key findings: companies can stimulate information sharing through activities that build trust and develop a norm of reciprocity; rules and guidelines are helpful to discourage abuse, but do little to stimulate sharing; and companies should give the right example by sharing knowledge themselves. The guidelines that were developed based on these findings can be used by companies that own or manage an online community as well as by those who intend to engage with one.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 58, no 3, 347-353 p.
Keyword [en]
Online communities, Information sharing, Game theory,
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-169272DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2015.01.008ISI: 000355032400014ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84928827472OAI: diva2:822312

QC 20150616

Available from: 2015-06-16 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Boon, EdwardSalehi-Sangari, Esmail
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