Not All Feedback is Created Equal: How Appreciation and Attention Affect Knowledge Contribution
41 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 1, 2021
We conducted two studies in different cultures to examine how two types of feedback, appreciation and attention, affect users’ decisions to make voluntary knowledge contributions to electronic networks of practice (ENP). Appreciation is reflected in positive ratings, votes, and helpfulness evaluations. Attention is reflected in the number of views of contributed content. The first study used clickstream data from a college application ENP in China, where information seekers can read asynchronously posted information and request synchronous consultations with volunteers. The second study was a controlled online experiment in the United States where we assessed users’ willingness to asynchronously answer questions in a college application ENP. In both studies, greater appreciation increased continued knowledge contribution, but greater attention without sufficient appreciation negatively affected contributions. We conclude that appreciation and attention show distinctive yet intertwined impacts on knowledge contributions in ENP in two different cultures across both synchronous and asynchronous participation.
Keywords: electronic networks of practice, ENP, online communities, feedback, information cues, incentive design, online knowledge contribution, online volunteerism
JEL Classification: M15
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