This chapter presents the interrelationships between professional virtual communities and social networks, and analyzes how, and in what ways, these communities play a crucial role in the creation and sharing of knowledge. The chapter begins by outlining how virtual communities are gaining importance in the new environment. It explains what we understand as a professional virtual community and its importance and also the relevance of social networks in today’s Knowledge Management age. The study then analyses how the development of social networks is crucial to the improvement of professional virtual communities, and also how virtual organizations can promote the improvement of social networks. Finally, the study examines how virtual communities are vital as mechanisms for creating and sharing knowledge.
Professional Virtual Communities In The Knowledge Management Age
Kalpic and Bernus (2006) state that “the pace of adoption of internet technology, especially the establishment of intranets, extranets, Web portals, etc., has created a networking potential that drives all of society and corporations to work faster, create and manage more interdependencies, and operate on global markets” (p.41). Above all, the importance of new networks is stressed in the role they play in developing Knowledge Management tools.