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Konan University, Hirao School of Management, Japan
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Psychol Psychother
Since 2020, we have faced drastic changes in our lives due to the pandemic. This caused a big paradigm shift in working styles. Parallel careers or multiple jobs are getting more common, and people are ascertaining their own competencies. Utilization of personal knowledge will continue to accelerate and this study sheds light on its societal value. Research Question and Framework This research aims to reveal the relationship between knowledge sharing and well-being. Due to the growing sharing economy and the large ongoing paradigm shift in work styles caused by the pandemic, people have more opportunities to utilize their personal knowledge than ever before. However, vast amounts of personal knowledge are untapped. For instance, one instantiation of personal knowledge is user innovation, and user innovation research has pointed out the ‘market failure’ in its diffusion due to a lack of incentives for the innovators (de Jong, von Hippel, Gault, Kuusisto, & Raasch, 2015; von Hippel, DeMonaco, & de Jong, 2017). Earlier research has shown that user communities play an important role in diffusing user innovations and has examined the innovators’ motivations to participate in these communities. Personal need, feedback from peers, and enjoyment were found to be important motivations (Füller, J., 2010; Janzik & Raasch, 2011; Antorini, Muñiz & Askildsen, 2012). Aoki (2021) focused on such non-financial incentives and revealed that knowledge sharing increases contributor well-being. Although this is an important finding to increase the utilization of personal knowledge, the cause has not yet been revealed. Thus, this research explores why knowledge sharing increases well-being. Method and Data To answer the research question, in-depth interviews with the knowledge sharing contributors were conducted. The interviewees were sourced from LEGO users who share their original creations. LEGO has a lot of adult fans across the world who call themselves AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO). The LEGO group has collaborated with these users with novel ideas for decades and much research has revealed the competitive advantages of this collaboration (e.g. Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Jensen, Hienerth & Lettl, 2014; Hienerth, Lettl & Keinz 2014; Schlagwein, & Bjorn-Andersen, 2014). Conclusions and implications This study concludes that the reason for knowledge sharing increasing contributor well-being is that it further deepens their knowledge and experience. The respondents could further deepen their previously accumulated knowledge and experience with LEGO creation through competitive co-creation with others. Moreover, regardless of their initial goals, they converged into the broader goal of knowledge flow to the next generation which, importantly, contributes to the realization of sustainability in knowledge development.
Kei Aoki is completed Graduate School, Division of Administration Master’s Course at Kobe University.