Title: Virtual health communities of practice success factors: towards taxonomy and a framework

Authors: Haitham Alali; Juhana Salim

Addresses: Management Information Systems Department, Faculty of Business, Amman Arab University (AAU), 11953 Jordan Street-Mubis, Amman, Jordan ' Management Information Systems Department, Faculty of Business, Amman Arab University (AAU), 11953 Jordan Street-Mubis, Amman, Jordan

Abstract: Virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) are recognised as a KM initiative, whereby practitioners conduct discussions and share their experiences online. Presently, a lack of widely accepted or overall conceptual framework exists that addresses the important aspects of effective KM to specifically determine whether virtual health communities of practice (VHCoPs) are successful. The absence of such a conceptual framework motivates the present review of literature pertaining to the measurement of VHCoPs for the purpose of extracting the main taxonomy. The literature is analysed and synthesised with the aim of identifying the success factors of VCoPs within the healthcare sector. In addition, the review critically evaluates the factors, theories and methodologies adopted in VHCoPs literature. The present study provides a framework and concepts to measure the success of VHCoPs. The present study finds that the success of VHCoPs can be measured in terms of their technical, semantic, human, and social dimensions; and their effectiveness in managing knowledge.

Keywords: success factors; virtual COPs; communities of practice; VCoPs; evaluation; healthcare management; online communities; virtual communities; web based communities; knowledge management; virtual health communities; taxonomy; literature review.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2016.077256

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2016 Vol.12 No.2, pp.180 - 194

Received: 28 May 2015
Accepted: 30 Sep 2015

Published online: 24 Jun 2016 *

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