Social Capital and Information Technology

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Overview

The concept of social capital, or the value that can be derived from social ties created by goodwill, mutual support, shared language, common beliefs, and a sense of mutual obligation, has been applied to a number of fields, from sociology to management. It is only lately,
however, that researchers in information technology and knowledge management have begun to explore the idea of social capital in relation to their fields. This collection of thirteen essays by computer scientists, sociologists, communication specialists, economists, and others presents a multidisciplinary look at this particular intersection of information technology and social science and the need to adopt a sociotechnical perspective.For the most part the contributors take a positive view of the interplay of social capital, knowledge sharing, and community building. Some essays look at specific instances, including the on-line and face-to-face relationships of a community of athletes, the building of social capital among Iranian NGOs, and the Internet-based communities created by the open-source movement, while others discuss more general ideas of civic and personal communities. The last four essays examine computer applications that augment social capital, including topic- and member-centered communications spaces such as the Expert Finder and the Loops system and virtual repositories of knowledge such as the Answer Garden and Pearls of
Wisdom.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262083317
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Marleen Huysman is Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems, Marketing and
Logistics, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Unversiteit Amsterdam.

Volker Wulf is Associate Professor at the University of Siegen, Senior Researcher at the
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology, and Head of the International Institute for
Socio-Informatics, Bonn.

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Table of Contents

1 Social capital and information technology : current debates and research 1
I Social capital in civic engagement 17
2 Trust, acceptance, and alignment : the role of IT in redirecting a community 21
3 The effects of dispersed virtual communities on face-to-face social capital 53
4 Find what binds : building social capital in an Iranian NGO community system 75
5 How does the Interent affect social capital? 113
II Social capital in knowledge sharing 133
6 The ties that share : relational characteristics that facilitate information seeking 137
7 Exploring the eagerness to share knowledge : the role of social capital and ICT in knowledge sharing 163
8 Design requirements for knowledge-sharing tools : a need for social capital analysis 187
9 Explaining the underutilization of business-to-business E-commerce in geographically defined business clusters : the role of social capital 209
10 The impact of social capital on project-based learning 231
III Applications of IT 269
11 Sharing expertise : the next step for knowledge management 273
12 Pearls of wisdom : social capital building in informal learning environments 301
13 Expertise finding : approaches to foster social capital 333
14 Fostering social creativity by increasing social capital 355
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