Legitimate Peripheral Participation and Value Creation in Online Knowledge Sharing Communities

AbstractOnline knowledge sharing communities require contributions and active participation to thrive, yet all participation is not equal. Community members well-socialized in the community are more likely to make stronger contributions. In this paper, we theorize about how legitimate peripheral participation of new online knowledge sharing community members can drive different types of contributions and potentially generate value for the community. We conduct an agent-based simulation analysis of different configurations of legitimate peripheral participation to explore our theoretical arguments. We find, in general, that increased requirements for legitimate peripheral participation of new members drive quality contributions and generates value for the community. However, we also find that there is an inflection point where too many such demands may stifle contributions and impede value creation in these communities.

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