Title: Measuring the change in knowledge sharing efficiency of virtual communities of practice: a case study

Authors: Suchul Lee; Jong-Yi Hong; Euiho Suh

Addresses: Department of Future R&D Strategy, Division of Policy Research, Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), 245 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34141, Korea ' Division of Business Administration, Kyungnam University, 7 Kyungnamdaehak-ro, Masanhappo-gu, Changwon, 51767, Korea ' Department of Industrial and Management Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), 77 Cheongam-Ro. Nam-Gu. Pohang. Gyeongbuk, 37673, Korea

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide organisational knowledge management teams with a new framework for assessing the performance of communities of practice (CoPs) in terms of efficiency by analysing trends of their efficiency changes. This paper uses the data envelopment analysis (DEA) method to analyse the knowledge sharing activities in CoPs, and classify CoPs into five types based on the trend of their efficiency changes. Our data analysis of the knowledge sharing activities of 16 CoPs within one of the largest steel manufacturing companies finds that most CoPs had the increasing trend efficiency (or had maximum possible efficiency). This is mainly because the company has supported and maintained CoPs as an infrastructure for the social network among its employees. The proposed framework can provide information about the time trend inefficiency change of a CoP, and can guide decision-making to select the appropriate strategies for cultivating them.

Keywords: communities of practice; CoPs; knowledge management; knowledge sharing; data envelopment analysis; DEA; efficiency changes; sharing efficiency; virtual communities; online communities; web based communities; case study; manufacturing industry; steel manufacturing; social networking; employee networking; decision making.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2016.074675

International Journal of Technology Management, 2016 Vol.70 No.1, pp.58 - 75

Accepted: 05 Sep 2015
Published online: 12 Feb 2016 *

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