Information Technology, Social Capital, and the Generation of Intellectual Capital

Information Technology, Social Capital, and the Generation of Intellectual Capital

A. Kianto (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-081-3.ch009
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Abstract

Networked collaboration, which spans functional, formal and hierarchical boundaries, has become increasingly important for all types of organizations. Communities rather than formal organizations are the social context in which most knowledge sharing, creation and learning take place. With the spread and evolution of information technologies, an increasing amount of interaction and communication is conducted online, in virtual communities. In this chapter we examine how different types of virtual communities function as platforms for the formation of social capital, which in turn enable production of new intellectual capital. We propose information technology-enabled social capital as a framework for understanding how organizations generate intellectual wealth. Specifically, we claim that social capital in physically-based virtual communities improves the incremental continuous development of existing intellectual capital, while in Internet-based communities it facilitates generation of new intellectual capital through radical innovations and paradigmatic change.

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