Migrant Worker Empowerment in Online Communities

Migrant Worker Empowerment in Online Communities

Stevanus Wisnu Wijaya (School of Information Systems, QUT, Australia), Jason Watson (School of Information Systems, QUT, Australia) and Christine Bruce (School of Information Systems, QUT, Australia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch639

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Our literature review shows that several scholars have conceptualized empowerment in online communities according to context and setting. In general, empowerment by the Internet can be described as the capacity of the Internet to provide information, interactions and collaborations (Amichai-Hamburger, McKenna, & Tal, 2008). Interactions within a social networking site enable people to construct their online identity which potentially empowers them (Zhao, Grasmuck, & Martin, 2008). From a consumer orientation, consumers feel empowered through accessing information which potentially improves their understanding and knowledge in decision making processes (Tina, Kathryn, & Gary, 2006). In health contexts, participation in online communities is seen to empower individuals in coping with health issues (Høybye, Johansen, & Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, 2005; Pitts, 2004; Sharf, 1997; Cornelia F. van Uden-Kraan et al., 2008). In educational contexts, online collaboration processes can empower lecturers and students (Ravid, Kalman, & Rafaeli, 2008). The literature shows that studies of empowerment in online communities are an emerging concept.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Conceptual Model: A constructed abstraction of a certain topic perceived by people including the researchers ( Jonker & Pennink, 2010 ).

Online communities: A group of people who temporarily or permanently meet, interact and collaborate in virtual places ( Feenberg & Friesen, 2012b ; Wenger, White, & Smith, 2009 ). Mostly they share common social values and are connected through similar interests. In addition, it could be a representation of real world communities which adopt virtual places to enhance the interactions and collaborations amongst their community members and other parties.

Empowerment Outcomes: Consequences of empowering processes which can be measured from an individual, community and wider societal context perspective ( Bartunek & Spreitzer, 2006 ; Tengland, 2008 ; Zimmerman, 1995 ).

Shared Online Practices: The application of an idea or methods within online environments which materialize into contents created by users which attract others to respond.

Migrant Worker: People working outside their home country or people who engage in remunerated activities outside their home country ( United Nations Commision for Human Rights, 1990 ). In China, this term as also refers to people who move into a wealthy region for employment purposes.

Empowerment Processes: A series of activities which positively affect personal and community development ( Bartunek & Spreitzer, 2006 ; Tengland, 2008 ; Zimmerman, 1995 ).

Empowerment: Processes involving individuals in a community setting which aims to enhance their capability to break barrier, reach better wellbeing and take actions towards changes ( Dave, 2010 ; Hennink, Kiiti, Pillinger, & Jayakaran, 2012 ; Tengland, 2008 ).

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