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Virtual Communities in Negotiation: From Discourse to Praxis… and Back

Ard Huizing
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Vanessa Dirksen
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Abstract
Deliberate corporate attempts to stimulate organizational learning, such as for instance to promote “knowledge cultures” by creating virtual communities, can evoke unforeseen and unintended responses. Moreover, such formal, imposed attempts of stimulating knowledge cultures may run against informal ways of seeking information, establishing bonding relationships, and raising personal market value. This chapter shows how management and moderators as well as employees of a large IT firm have appropriated the language of the organizational change discourse surrounding the virtual community idea. It also illustrates how differences in their patterns of appropriation have prevented the virtual communities to evolve into the intended "collective learning mechanisms.” First, we present the research framework and methodology used. Subsequently, we discuss the community idea as interpreted by management and moderators of the virtual communities. This is followed by the same procedure for the participants of the communities. In both cases, the arguments put forward for the various interpretations are depicted, which are then generalized into patterns of appropriation. Hereafter, we illustrate the differences in appropriation between the various subcultures and discuss the different factors responsible for their situated and negotiated behaviors. Finally, conclusions and implications are given.

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Reference:Huizing, A., Dirksen, V. (2004). "Virtual Communities in Negotiation: From Discourse to Praxis… and Back," University of Amsterdam, Netherlands . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 4(17). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/4-17
Keywords:none
Item Type:Article - Volume 4 Article 17 (2004)
Language:English
Email: Ard Huizing (a.huizing@uva.nl)
Vanessa Dirksen (vanessa.dirksen@uni-konstanz.de,)

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