The sense of community in a geographically dispersed organisation
by Karla R. Peters-Van Havel
International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management (IJHRDM), Vol. 13, No. 2/3, 2013

Abstract: This case study of Black Rock City, also known as Burning Man, examines the psychological sense of community (PSOC) within a geographically dispersed organisation, identifies communal aspects, and embarks upon an understanding of the intentional and fortuitous aspects of managing and developing a systemic community without physical boundaries. The methodology used is a qualitative case study with data collection procedures including in-depth exploratory interviews of self-defined Burners, a history, direct observations, an ethnographic study, and primary research using the sense of community index version 2 (N = 222), commonly referred to as the SCI-2 (Chavis et al., 2008). Findings of this study convey 'shared emotional connection' as the most important factor of this geo-dispersed community. Thematic analysis also suggests that acceptance, collaboration, and shared symbols and rituals can create a 'sense of community' despite ambiguous boundaries.

Online publication date: Sat, 19-Jul-2014

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