Avatars and knowledge sharing

Dennis D. Fehrenbacher, Martin M. Weisner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review


In human-computer interactions, digital representations of humans (called avatars) are commonly used. We study how knowledge sharing behavior within an organization is affected by avatar use among co-workers in a computer-mediated environment. Such inquiry is important because of the essential role of knowledge exchange for organizational success. Drawing on construal level theory, we examine how avatar use can influence knowledge exchange. Conducting an experiment that involves eye trackers, we predict and show that avatar use can decrease participants’ willingness to share knowledge. Our findings also suggest that factors traditionally associated with knowledge sharing interact with the manner in which humans are digitally represented (avatar vs. real-life image). We further discuss the implications of changes in eye gaze patterns that result from variations in digital representations of humans.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2017)
Subtitle of host publicationTransforming Society with Digital Innovation
EditorsChristina Soh, Ola Henfridsson, Youngjin Yoo
Place of PublicationAtlanta Georgia USA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781510853690
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference on Information Systems 2017: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation - COEX Convention Center, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Duration: 10 Dec 201713 Dec 2017
Conference number: 38th
https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2017/ (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Systems 2017
Abbreviated titleICIS 2017
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of (South)
Internet address


  • Avatars
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Knowledge Sharing

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