Visitor from New Zealand: Knowledge Brokers

31 Aug

Last June I has a visitor from Wellington, New Zealand: Jocelyn Cranefield. She is teaching and researching in Knowledge Management and Strategic Management like myself and was visiting me for two weeks just after the ECIS 2012 conference in Barcelona.

We got into contact at the PACIS 2011 conference in Brisbane, Australia (I love Australia 😉 ). I was there as the track chair for the Social Media track and she submitted a paper to the track that we nominated for the best paper award:  Cranefield, J., Yoong, P. & Huff, S. (2011). Beyond lurking: the invisible follower-feeder in an online community ecosystem. Proceedings of PACIS 2011 (paper 50).

The contribution of this paper is that it puts the lurker in a different perspective. Normally a lurker is considered a someone who only takes knowledge from a community but does not contribute any knowledge to the community. But when not only the online community but also the offline community is included in the picture this results in a totally new idea about the lurker. The research shows that someone who is lurking in the online community might be a very central person in an offline community and hence brings knowledge from the online to the offline community, which can be very useful. This role is called the: Follower-Feeder, and very nicely described the principle. This totally new insight and the fact that the paper was well written resulted in the best paper nomination.

Oh, to complete the story about the conference, she got the best paper award and that means that I did not get it 😦 (my paper: Why don’t they ask an expert?, was nominated in the Knowledge Management track). Currently we are working on a paper on knowledge brokering and boundary spanning and I will blog about that in the near future.

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4 Responses to “Visitor from New Zealand: Knowledge Brokers”

  1. Tim September 3, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Interesting paper indeed! In my study I have found a similar phenomenon with professionals, claiming not to use social media really meaning that they don’t POST on social media, they check out various sources all the time, gathering information relevant to their role however.

    I am still collecting data to substantiate the claim, but signs are promising. I suppose a problem with thinking of online communities of practice (whatever we want to call them) is that the offline aspects get ignored. Come on folks, lets be postmodernist about this!

    • rwhelms September 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

      Is there an electronic survey that people can fill out? You can post it here and I happy to share it on my social media timelines. Already ideas on where to publish it? Would be interesting to learn how the check it out and what tools they use.

      • Tim Zijlstra September 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

        Hi Remko,

        Thanks for the offer, I will keep that in mind! I am using qualitative methods for my PhD though. Interesting topic however that I will follow up on, not sure where to publish yet, I want to make sure I have some solid data first. Maybe it is something for IFKAD 2013 as I am hoping to get a paper together for that.

      • rwhelms September 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

        Just let me know if you need a critical review before submission.

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