The Ways of Prosumers’ Knowledge Sharing with Organizations

Ewa Wanda Ziemba, Monika Eisenbardt
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 13  •  2018  •  pp. 095-115

The main purpose of this paper is to answer the 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.

Contemporary consumers do not wish to be passive consumers anymore. They want to satisfy their consumption needs by products’ evaluation, co-designing, co-creation and co-reconfiguration. They can do that by sharing their knowledge with enterprises and public organizations. Such consumers are referred as ‘prosumers’.

The research process consisted of a survey among prosumers and online observations of enterprises and public organizations. A final research sample includes 388 prosumers and 90 organizations.

This work contributes to existing research on utilizing consumers’ knowledge in business and public organizations by identifying and examining ways of consumers’ knowledge sharing with such organizations.

It was found that there are differences between the ways in which prosumers share knowledge with organizations in comparison with the ways in which enterprises and public organizations expect them to get engaged in knowledge sharing. Prosumers mainly share their knowledge by evaluating products, whereas organizations mainly expect prosumers to get engaged in knowledge sharing by creating and designing products. In addition, it was found that enterprises have bigger expectations as to prosumers’ engagement in knowledge sharing than public organizations.

This study provides practitioners with guidelines for prosumers’ knowledge utilization, especially helping them understand which ways prosumers use to share knowledge.

Researchers may consider the findings of the current study useful to conduct further research on customer knowledge sharing with organizations using our approach and developing own research contexts.

This study examines Polish prosumers and organizations operating in the Polish market. It is advisable to extend the research to other countries and compare the results.

knowledge, knowledge sharing, prosumer, prosumption, consumer, product evaluation, product co-creation
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