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Title: Communities of practice, networks & technologies : the dynamics of knowledge flows within third sector organisations in the North East of England
Author: Walker, Geoffrey
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 3140
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2008
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The purpose of this research is to assess the function, form and content of knowledge sharing in communities of practice, social networks and the use of collaborative technologies in Third Sector community networks in the North East of England. This is a significant area worthy of detailed examination due to the acknowledged relationship between communities of practice, social networks and the use of collaborative technologies. These three domains have been examined separately by others and suggestions have been made as to relationships between them but few, if any, studies appear to have used case-based evidence to explore how these relationships add value to knowledge sharing. The research addresses the following research question: To what extent does the use of collaborative technologies in communities of practice and social networks, in the Third Sector of the North East region, add value to face- to-face knowledge sharing and how may this be measured? In order to answer the research question a qualitative holistic case study approach based upon three case studies in Newcastle upon Tyne, South Tyneside and Sunderland has been utilised and grounded theory is used to formulate theory from the observed and analysed practice of the case studies under investigation. The conclusion is drawn that when value is added to knowledge sharing it is relative to the strength of several key variables, including, reciprocity, trust, the strength of network ties and the ability to integrate the use of collaborative technologies into ongoing activities. To aid analysis of the presence and strength of these variables a working paradigm has been designed and developed. Case studies are analysed through this paradigm leading to the development of a theory of knowledge sharing in the Third Sector.
Supervisor: Vickers, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences ; P100 Information Services ; P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation