Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Sibin Wu

Second Advisor

Dr. Jorge Gonzalez

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Welbourne


Using the Sense of Community Theory and the Knowledge Sharing Behavior this study explores the motivation of members of makerspaces to share technical and non-technical knowledge in this type of creative spaces. In makerspaces, individuals are expected to share what they know with others to solve design and fabrication problems. Most of the sharing occurs when experienced makers transfer knowledge to the novice makers. This behavior is what motivates this dissertation. Unlike traditional knowledge sharing that happens in formal organizations, makerspace participants engage in the knowledge sharing behavior differently; they share in an informal manner creating value for makerspaces and its members.

This dissertation explores knowledge sharing behaviors as outcome of two factors of the sense of community theory construct. More specifically, what is the role of personal investment and emotional safety in the sharing of technical and non-technical knowledge. Using data collected from a panel using Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), this study found meaningful relationships. First, the efforts a member of a makerspace invest in the makerspace is a meaningful predictor of their technical and non-technical knowledge sharing behavior. Second, cognitive, and affective trust are meaningful predictors of knowledge sharing behavior in makerspaces for technical and non-technical knowledge. Additional findings related to the moderation variables of makerspace type, use of public amenities and entrepreneurial motivation are included in this study.


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