Online communities of practice: Factors that affect usage from a multiple stakeholder perspective

by Leonard, Kathleen Gwynn, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 199 pages; 3591385


Knowledge is a valuable corporate resource, and many organizations implement an online community of practice to increase organizational knowledge and gain competitive advantage. However, despite financial and member support, many online communities of practice are underused and thus not reaching organizational potential. Online communities of practice have traditionally been assessed by training metrics including satisfaction surveys, click reports, and activity logs, but these measures alone do not provide for insight into improved usage. Thus, online communities of practice pose an organizational dilemma and this research looks at further clarifying the issue by analyzing the factors that improve or diminish the experience. It is also important to account for all stakeholders in an online community of practice, including the three main stakeholders of executive sponsor, knowledge managers, and members. This qualitative exploratory research studies a regionally based online community of practice focused on professional networking. The three stakeholder groups provide insight into their perspectives on the factors that are advantages and disadvantages, as well as offer recommendations to improve the online community of practice experience. This research can help other online community of practice stakeholders plan and execute on a strategy that will result in better utilization and engagement of their community.

AdviserMarc Muchnick
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Technical communication; Business education
Publication Number3591385

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