Communications of the IIMA


Some studies have looked at how people from different countries share knowledge, information and ideas but the research is still limited. Therefore, this research takes up the challenge to find out the relationship of societal culture and knowledge sharing in multi-national and cross-cultural ‘virtual community.’

The purpose of this paper is to quantitatively assess the relationship of long-term orientation which influences sharing of knowledge, ideas and information in virtual community among different cultural groups. Data were collected from the world’s second largest multinational PC manufacturing company that serves customers across 160 countries. The analysis from five of the countries specifically examines the relationship of long-term orientation with knowledge sharing in the virtual community context. The finding is a positive relationship implying that managers of virtual communities need to provide both resources and time for members to build relationships and to positively share and co-create knowledge (aimed at the future) rather than concentrate on the past and present thus stifling knowledge sharing.

The study contributes by uniquely combining in one study, long-term (cultural) orientation, and knowledge sharing in virtual communities from different countries. The limitation of the study is the use of only one cultural dimension of Hofstede. Future studies should use other dimensions as well as dimensions other than Hofstede’s. Nonetheless, this study has given practical guides to managers of virtual communities.