Knowledge sharing by entrepreneurs in a virtual community of practice (VCoP)

Khalid Hafeez, Fathalla M. Alghatas, Pantea Foroudi, Bang Nguyen*, Suraksha Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how entrepreneurs engage in a virtual community of practice (VCoP) to share knowledge. Intensity of engagement is taken as a proxy to measure the strength of knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach: The archival data spanning over a three-year period from “Start-up-Nation©” (a VCoP purposefully setup for entrepreneurs) are used for analysis. A set of indices are introduced to measure participants’ intensity of engagement in terms of message length, message frequency and reciprocity in the knowledge sharing process. Content analysis is employed to test a sample of “highly engaged”, “moderately engaged”, “low engaged” and “not engaged” discussion topics as part of the online discourse. Findings: The authors find that entrepreneurs normally use short (fewer than 100 words) or medium (fewer than 250 words) message size to contribute to the discussions. In addition, the authors find that senior members and discussion moderators play important roles in igniting the “reciprocity” behaviour in stimulating the interest of the community with the topic discussion. The authors also find that highly engaged topics usually lead to further discussion threads. Originality/value: This is the first study of its kind to explore how entrepreneurs engage in a VCoP to share their knowledge and experiences. The set of measurement indices tested here provide a tool for the owner, designer and moderator of the VCoP to measure the utility of their website in terms of its members’ participation. In addition, the set of textual and subjective interventions identified here enables the moderator (administrator) of a VCoP to design effective interventions to facilitate online discourse and augments the knowledge sharing process amongst its community members.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology and People
Volume32
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)405-429
ISSN0959-3845
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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virtual community
Moderators
entrepreneur
moderator
knowledge
reciprocity
Websites
discourse
role play
community
website
content analysis
participation
methodology
Values
experience

Keywords

  • Communities of practice
  • Discourse analysis
  • Knowledge-based community
  • Shared knowledge
  • Virtual community

Cite this

Hafeez, Khalid ; Alghatas, Fathalla M. ; Foroudi, Pantea ; Nguyen, Bang ; Gupta, Suraksha. / Knowledge sharing by entrepreneurs in a virtual community of practice (VCoP). In: Information Technology and People. 2019 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 405-429.
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Knowledge sharing by entrepreneurs in a virtual community of practice (VCoP). / Hafeez, Khalid; Alghatas, Fathalla M.; Foroudi, Pantea; Nguyen, Bang; Gupta, Suraksha.

In: Information Technology and People, Vol. 32, No. 2, 04.2019, p. 405-429.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Knowledge sharing by entrepreneurs in a virtual community of practice (VCoP)

AU - Hafeez, Khalid

AU - Alghatas, Fathalla M.

AU - Foroudi, Pantea

AU - Nguyen, Bang

AU - Gupta, Suraksha

PY - 2019/4

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N2 - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how entrepreneurs engage in a virtual community of practice (VCoP) to share knowledge. Intensity of engagement is taken as a proxy to measure the strength of knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach: The archival data spanning over a three-year period from “Start-up-Nation©” (a VCoP purposefully setup for entrepreneurs) are used for analysis. A set of indices are introduced to measure participants’ intensity of engagement in terms of message length, message frequency and reciprocity in the knowledge sharing process. Content analysis is employed to test a sample of “highly engaged”, “moderately engaged”, “low engaged” and “not engaged” discussion topics as part of the online discourse. Findings: The authors find that entrepreneurs normally use short (fewer than 100 words) or medium (fewer than 250 words) message size to contribute to the discussions. In addition, the authors find that senior members and discussion moderators play important roles in igniting the “reciprocity” behaviour in stimulating the interest of the community with the topic discussion. The authors also find that highly engaged topics usually lead to further discussion threads. Originality/value: This is the first study of its kind to explore how entrepreneurs engage in a VCoP to share their knowledge and experiences. The set of measurement indices tested here provide a tool for the owner, designer and moderator of the VCoP to measure the utility of their website in terms of its members’ participation. In addition, the set of textual and subjective interventions identified here enables the moderator (administrator) of a VCoP to design effective interventions to facilitate online discourse and augments the knowledge sharing process amongst its community members.

AB - Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how entrepreneurs engage in a virtual community of practice (VCoP) to share knowledge. Intensity of engagement is taken as a proxy to measure the strength of knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach: The archival data spanning over a three-year period from “Start-up-Nation©” (a VCoP purposefully setup for entrepreneurs) are used for analysis. A set of indices are introduced to measure participants’ intensity of engagement in terms of message length, message frequency and reciprocity in the knowledge sharing process. Content analysis is employed to test a sample of “highly engaged”, “moderately engaged”, “low engaged” and “not engaged” discussion topics as part of the online discourse. Findings: The authors find that entrepreneurs normally use short (fewer than 100 words) or medium (fewer than 250 words) message size to contribute to the discussions. In addition, the authors find that senior members and discussion moderators play important roles in igniting the “reciprocity” behaviour in stimulating the interest of the community with the topic discussion. The authors also find that highly engaged topics usually lead to further discussion threads. Originality/value: This is the first study of its kind to explore how entrepreneurs engage in a VCoP to share their knowledge and experiences. The set of measurement indices tested here provide a tool for the owner, designer and moderator of the VCoP to measure the utility of their website in terms of its members’ participation. In addition, the set of textual and subjective interventions identified here enables the moderator (administrator) of a VCoP to design effective interventions to facilitate online discourse and augments the knowledge sharing process amongst its community members.

KW - Communities of practice

KW - Discourse analysis

KW - Knowledge-based community

KW - Shared knowledge

KW - Virtual community

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DO - 10.1108/ITP-09-2016-0202

M3 - Journal article

VL - 32

SP - 405

EP - 429

JO - Information Technology and People

JF - Information Technology and People

SN - 0959-3845

IS - 2

ER -