Motivations to Resolve Communication Dilemmas in Database-Mediated Collaboration
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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In organizational settings, a communication dilemma exists whenever the interests of a collective i.e., team, organization, interorganizational alliance demand that people share privately held information, but their individual interests instead motivate them to withhold it. This article develops and tests an expectancy model that predicts specific conditions under which collective benefits can be made to converge with private ones, thus resolving communication dilemmas and motivating voluntary contributions to a collectively shared database. In the model, motivation is a multiplicative function of individual-level attitudes and beliefs 1 organizational commitment 2organizational instrumentality, an instrumentality that links successful collective information sharing to broader organizational gain 3 connective efficacy, an expectation that information contributed to the database will reach other members of the collective and 4 information self-efficacy, the self-perceived value of a contributors information to other database users. The model was tested by a survey administered to members of an intact work team using a discretionary database. The multiplicative model was significant and explained sizeable amounts of variance in the motivation to contribute discretionary information. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. The model can be readily extended to predict information sharing by means of other communication media.
- Numerical Mathematics
- Computer Systems