Investigating ownership and the willingness to share information online

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Networks offer the promise of sharing information. This project aims to experimentally investigate aspects of the propensity to share information online, with a specific focus on the system-induced status of information. Is a simple manipulation of the cognitive status of information sufficient to gain changes in sharing levels? A simple computerized game was used to simulate business decision situations that required participants to use information, and enabled sharing it. Our hypotheses compared the willingness to share under different conditions of system-induced ownership of information. Participants' perception of information source and ownership was the independent variable. Sharing was higher for privately owned expertise than it was for organizationally owned content. Ownership makes a difference. It serves to increase sharing of information. Ownership can and should be framed by system design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2367-2382
Number of pages16
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Information sharing
  • Ownership
  • Willingness to share

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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