Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

The Ways of Prosumers' Knowledge Sharing with Organizations

Academic journal article Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management

The Ways of Prosumers' Knowledge Sharing with Organizations

Article excerpt

Introduction

One of the most essential market phenomena is that the consumer--organization relationships have undergone transformations and changes (Calosci, 2017). These transformations and changes are caused by several factors, among which one can indicate the evolving role of consumers from passive recipients to active co-creators of value and the increase in the value of consumer knowledge for business and public organizations (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004; Taherparvar, Esmaeilpour, & Dostar, 2014). Contemporary consumers do not wish to be passive consumers anymore. They want to satisfy their consumption needs by self-design, self-reconfiguration or even self-creation of products. It is possible when they are willing to share their knowledge, taking part in projects targeted at them by business and public organizations. In that way, by sharing their knowledge, consumers have an impact on product's development and its co-creation. Many enterprises have detected the value of consumers' knowledge in changing the consumers--business relationship. In turn, those consumers who are willing to share knowledge are known as 'prosumers' while the process in which they share the knowledge is referred to as 'prosumption'. Thus, prosumers' knowledge has become an essential intangible asset for every line of business which leads to better response to and respect toward customers, makes a contribution toward new and innovative products, as well as leads to the improvement of business value and enhances the competitiveness of businesses (Aghamirian, Dorri, & Aghamirian, 2013; Brabham, 2012; Song & Kang, 2016; Tsai, Tsai, Li, & Lin, 2012; Tseng, 2016).

Great opportunities for prosumers in the field of knowledge sharing create an online environment. Particularly, a social media development and their omnipresence caused that more and more enterprises and public organizations are trying to engage prosumers in prosumer-oriented projects and as a result--to obtain proper knowledge from prosumers (Choi & Shah, 2014; Jiebing, Bin, & Yongjiang, 2013). On one hand, this knowledge should be connected with organizations' expectations and enable them to develop and upgrade products, and may contribute to business process improvement (Aghamirian, Dorri, & Aghamirian, 2015; Trejo, Gutierrez, & Guzman, 2016). On the other hand, enterprises and public organizations should know as much as possible about prosumers. It may help them with choosing the way they should engage prosumers in knowledge sharing. In practice, the expectations of prosumers as to the ways of participation in the projects aimed at knowledge sharing vary more or less from the perception of enterprises or public organizations (Ziemba & Eisenbardt, 2017). What is more, prosumers can be engaged in knowledge sharing by enterprises and public organizations. Thus, the ways in which enterprises try engaging prosumers may vary as well from the ways in which public organizations try engaging them. This situation might be the result of enterprises and public organizations having different business purposes and expectations connected with prosumers' knowledge.

The above-mentioned issues are partially explored by Ziemba, Eisenbardt, and Mullins (Ziemba & Eisenbardt, 2014, 2015; Ziemba, Eisenbardt, & Mullins, 2017). Nonetheless, their reported outcomes are the result of questionnaire surveys that exclusively yielded responses from prosumers. Therefore, it is a prosumers' view of knowledge sharing with organizations. The authors of this paper, following an extensive review of the literature, did not uncover any deep studies related to organizations' point of view on these issues. Therefore, conducting research among prosumers as well as analyzing the ways in which enterprises and public organizations expect prosumers to get engaged in knowledge sharing may help fill in the gap in the existing body of knowledge.

Thus, this paper aims to answer the main research question whether the ways in which prosumers share their knowledge with enterprises and public organizations are in line with the ways in which enterprises and public organizations expect them to get engaged in knowledge sharing. …

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