Creation and recreation: motivating collaboration to generate knowledge capital in online communities.

Hall, Hazel and Graham, Dianne (2004) Creation and recreation: motivating collaboration to generate knowledge capital in online communities. International Journal of Information Management, 24 (3). pp. 235-246. ISSN 0268-4012

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The results of a research project that examined the factors that motivated individuals competing to win an award of £10,000 to interact collectively in a Yahoo e-group are presented. The project’s focus was to examine the apparent willingness of competitors to help their rivals when only one prize was available. The findings revealed that the initial impetus for members to join the group was to discover information for personal benefit. Over time, however, individual desire to reciprocate the help received from the group developed out of the online interactions. Other results from the study:
challenge the findings of previous research on the value of strong social capital in online communities;
confirm that in order to motivate active participation in online environments incentives offered should match the values of the group in question;
advocate that a balance needs to be achieved in determining the degree of focus in a discussion group’s activities: a narrow focus leads to action amongst members and diminishes the requirement for social support and community control;
reveal that decisions on a community’s size may determine its power to support genuine collaboration and new knowledge creation: all-inclusive membership provides opportunities for individual learning, but true knowledge capital is generated in smaller, less public groups.
These findings highlight issues that businesses may wish to consider when there are plans to create virtual communities of practice to meet corporate goals. This is particularly important with reference to furnishing environments where employees are willing to work collaboratively in the creation of new knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 0268-4012
Electronic ISSN: 1873-4707
Additional Information: The authors would like to acknowledge the CipherChallenge e-group members who willingly participated in the study and Simon Singh
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online communities; Knowledge sharing; Incentives; Collaboration
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 303 Social processes
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Item ID: 3342
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 13 May 2010 10:09
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2013 08:18

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