Online Community as space for knowledge flows
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInformation systems research. 2016, 27(4), 668-684. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2016.0682
Online communities frequently create significant economic and relational value for community participants and beyond. It is widely accepted that the underlying source of such value is the collective flow of knowledge among community participants. We distinguish the conditions for flows of tacit and explicit knowledge in online communities and advance an unconventional theoretical conjecture: Online communities give rise to tacit knowledge flows between participants. The crucial condition for these flows is not the advent of novel, digital technology as often portrayed in the literature, but instead the technology’s domestication by humanity and the sociality it affords. This conjecture holds profound implications for theory and research in the study of management and organization, as well as their relation to information technology.