To Continue Sharing or Not to Continue Sharing? – An Empirical Analysis of User Decision in Peer-to-Peer Sharing Networks
Santa Clara University - Operations and Management Information Systems
Northwestern University - Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences; University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management
George Washington University - School of Business
Andrew B. Whinston
University of Texas at Austin - Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management
November 5, 2007
Information Systems Research, 23(1), March 2012, pp. 247-259.
Peer-to-peer sharing networks have seen explosive growth recently. In these networks, sharing files is completely voluntary, and there is no financial reward for users to contribute. Yet many users continue to share despite the massive free-riding by others. Using a large-scale dataset of individual activities in a peer-to-peer music-sharing network, we seek to understand users’ continued-sharing behavior as a private contribution to a public good. We find that the more benefit users “get from” the network, in the form of downloads, browses, and searches, the more likely they are to continue sharing. Also, the more value users “give to” the network, in the form of downloads by other users and recognition by the network, the more likely they are to continue sharing. Moreover, our findings suggest that, overall, “getting-from” is a stronger force for the continued-sharing decision than “giving-to.”
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Online sharing community, implicit community, IRC, voluntary contribution, music sharing
Date posted: November 7, 2007 ; Last revised: November 7, 2012
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