Roles and knowledge management in online technology communities: an ethnography study
by T.R. Madanmohan, Siddhesh Navelkar
International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC), Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004

Abstract: The internet is a heterogeneous network of millions of computers that is continuously evolving. The interaction among people around the world on the internet has led to the formation of communities. Technical communities are groups who share a common interest in a technology. The literature on technology communities lacks a conceptual understanding of the roles of various players in the online community. An understanding of the different roles the members of the community assume at different phases, and the impact of the roles on knowledge management is crucial to manage and sustain such online technical communities. This study based on an ethnographic analysis of two technical communities, identifies seven distinct roles: core organiser, experts, problem poser, implementer, integrator, institutionaliser, and philosopher. The impact of each of the roles on knowledge management activities is discussed.

Online publication date: Wed, 07-Jul-2004

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