A Process-Oriented and Technology-Based Model of Virtual Communities of Practices: Evidence from a Case Study in Higher Education

A Process-Oriented and Technology-Based Model of Virtual Communities of Practices: Evidence from a Case Study in Higher Education

Giustina Secundo (University of Salento, Italy), Gianluca Elia (University of Salento, Italy) and Cesare Taurino (University of Salento, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2008010109
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Abstract

This article hypothesizes that virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) are valuable to business schools and universities because they contribute to the emerging paradigms of just-in-time, action-based informal learning. It presents a real case study of a VCoP called Virtual eBMS that was built by applying participative observation (Yin, 1994). In particular, the article provides a process-oriented model of Virtual eBMS that is composed of four main elements: the people participating in the community, the processes and the purpose of the community in terms of the value created for the business school, and the technology enabling the interactions between the community members. Indeed, from a technological point of view, the community is supported by an integrated Web learning and knowledge management platform, described in terms of the main knowledge processes triggered and the correspondent technologies supporting the actions. Finally, the work presents some preliminary results and the value created through the use of Virtual eBMS.

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