Why do peers help peers to share and co-produce knowledge? Research suggests that there is a whole set of motivations that makes people share their knowledge, a mixture between altruistic and self-serving motives summed up in the following table:
14 Reasons Why Peers Help Peers to Learn: Why Do They Share Their Knowledge? (Table 1)
- Because you learn yourself through co-production and tutoring
- Because you win recognition and prestige from your peers
- Because you might further your own interests through the co-production of knowledge, such as testing new solutions, benchmarking, mastering a technology, etc.
- Because you can solve a problem that you can only solve by collaborating with others
- Because you might gain power of persuasion within your organisation, network, or peer group
- Because you are proud to co-own a tangible “product”
- Because you have the freedom to co-create knowledge or goods, which increases autonomy and self-direction, and thereby motivation
- Because you build emotional bonds with people and things
- Because you feel “meaningful” by supporting the community, giving back through reciprocity (putting values such as fairness, solidarity, and altruism into practice)
- Because you know that the result of your commons-based peer activities will be available to others over time, and cannot be monopolized or privatized
- Because you feel good being associated with a trendy and innovative community
- Because you get continued access to knowledge, news and services
- Because you enlarge your personal and professional networks
- Because you can freely choose topics according to your interests
Sources for table above: GTZ 2006: 43; Wenger et al. 2011; Preece/Shneiderman 2009; Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. 2011: 125ff; Ghosh et al. 2002: 43-50; own considerations; Pyne 2010 1
This blog is part of a series of 10 questions that I have extracted of my article “Learning by Sharing – „How global communities cultivate skills and capacity through peer-production of knowledge“. The piece has been released in June as part of the GIZ Online- Series „10 trends in open innovation. How to leverage social media for new forms of cooperation“. Check it at https://www.knowledge-commons.de/en/learning-by-sharing/
Further readings on the question? Here.
Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.