Monetary income as opportunity cost: exploring the negative effect on free knowledge contribution of knowledge suppliers

Shan Jiang, Duc Khuong Nguyen, Peng Fei Dai, Qingxin Meng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: In the hybrid knowledge-sharing platform where paid and nonpaid (“free”) knowledge activities coexist, users’ free knowledge contribution may be influenced by financial factors. From the perspective of opportunity cost, this study investigates the direct effect of how the amount of monetary income from users’ contribution to paid knowledge activities influences their free knowledge contribution behavior in the future. Further, this study aims to verify the interaction effect of financial and nonfinancial factors (i.e. the experience of free knowledge contribution and social recognition) on free knowledge contribution. Design/methodology/approach: Objective data was collected from a hybrid knowledge-sharing platform in China and then analyzed by using zero-inflated negative binomial regression model. Findings: Results show that the amount of monetary income that knowledge suppliers gain from paid knowledge contribution negatively influences their free knowledge contribution. Experience of free knowledge contribution strengthens the negatively main effect, while social recognition has the weakening moderating role. Originality/value: Although some studies have explored and verified the positive spillover effect of financial incentives on free knowledge contribution, the quantity dimension is ignored. This study examines the hindering influence of the quantity of monetary income from the perspective of opportunity cost. By taking the characteristic of knowledge suppliers and platforms as moderators, this study deepens the understanding of the influence of monetary income on free knowledge contribution in the hybrid knowledge-sharing platform.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Experience
  • Free knowledge contribution
  • Hybrid knowledge-sharing platforms
  • Monetary income
  • Social recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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