A qualitative study of web-based knowledge communities:Examining success factors

Hui Lin, Weiguo Fan, Zhongju Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Web-based knowledge communities (WKCs) have become prevalent in recent years for individuals with similar interests to collectively engage in knowledge acquisition and exchange in a global context. The growing popularity of WKCs and their fast penetration into almost all aspects of life call for more research on this important area. In this study, we explore and examine success factors of WKCs. To accomplish this research objective, we conducted a qualitative study to uncover a list of success factors that would affect the success of WKCs. Through open and axial data coding techniques using a grounded theory approach, we identified four main success factors: information quality, system quality, community governance, and pro-sharing norms. We further categorized dimensions of information quality, system quality, and community governance. Based on the results, we proposed a conceptual framework to examine WKC success. The implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-57
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of e-Collaboration
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Community governance
  • Information quality
  • Pro-sharing norms
  • Sense of community
  • Success factors
  • System quality
  • Web-based knowledge communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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