Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 25 Number 4 2009 pp. 81-107

How Knowledge Validation Processes Affect Knowledge Contribution

Durcikova, Alexandra and Gray, Peter H

ABSTRACT: To ensure that knowledge repositories contain high-quality knowledge, knowledge management research recommends that contributions to a repository undergo stringent validation processes. To date, however, no research has studied the impact of such processes on contributors' repository-related perceptions or behaviors. To address this gap, we develop a model based on signaling theory and reinforcement theory to explain how individuals' perceptions of three primary validation process characteristics (duration, transparency, and restrictiveness) impact their perceptions of repository knowledge quality and their contribution behaviors. Our empirical results confirm the importance of implementing review processes that are transparent and developmentally oriented as a way of encouraging knowledge contribution. More broadly, this study underscores the need to develop integrated theoretical models that draw from a variety of reference theories when attempting to explain knowledge-related behaviors.

Key words and phrases: knowledge contribution processes, knowledge management, knowledge repositories, knowledge sharing, knowledge sourcing, reinforcement theory, signaling theory, validation processes