روش های توسعه برای جوامع مجازی B2B
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23811||2011||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11352 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 31, Issue 7, July 2011, Pages 296–308
This paper analyses the development approaches of four business-to-business (B2B) virtual communities (VCs) and compares them through use of a cross-case analysis. The study indicated that there is no “one size fits all” method for developing VCs and that a structured, rigorous development methodology based on academic research is required in order to successfully create and manage VCs. It also found that the main challenge in creating successful VCs is not that of developing them, but that of developing an engagement and contribution culture.
This paper analyses a number of developmental approaches to business-to-business (B2B) virtual community (VC) development. Consequently, it identifies and evaluates different methods of development by studying four such VCs and comparing them through use of a cross case analysis. A VC is a community of people with a common interest but not necessarily a common geographic location (Sands, 2003). In their most basic form, VCs are websites that allow their users to interact with each other using tools such as discussion forums, weblogs (or ‘blogs’), real-time chat and trading areas. VCs effectively allow the exchange of vast amounts of information between users scattered globally. Case et al. (2001) make the distinction between a VC and a traditional community (i.e. a location where people with similar interests can share experiences, ask questions and collaborate)—members of a given profession can join a ‘physical’ community bringing with them a large amount of critical information, knowledge and experience, which they share only occasionally at events such as conferences. VCs, on the other hand, overcome this minimal interaction by connecting geographically disparate groups in real time, through an online environment. This allows them to share knowledge and information with speed, but with little expense. According to Wu and Fang (2010), such interaction has been credited with the ability to create value by activities such as idea generation resulting from consumer interaction within VCs. Like traditional communities, VCs also act as a repository of information for their members, but they can store a much larger amount of important data (Case et al., 2001). The data stored within the VC is also far more accessible, with members using sophisticated search engines to identify their exact topic of interest. Another advantage for VC members is access to opinion leaders and industry experts with a mouse click with whom they would otherwise never have contact. Ardichvili et al. (2003) suggest that VCs are fast becoming the tool of choice for knowledge management professionals in multinational corporations such as Hewlett Packard, British Petroleum, Chevron, Ford, Xerox, Raytheon, IBM and Shell. Their study of VCs within Caterpillar found that the company had more than 600 such VCs with more than 15,000 members worldwide. Despite the proliferation of VCs in international business organisations, there is still little known about factors that lead to their success or failure. Little is also known about the vast number of different methods of development available to community managers. A historical analysis of VCs was produced by Kubicek and Wagner (2002) who provide an insight as to how these networks evolved over time with varying technology infrastructures. Their analysis concluded that a standard design or development methodology for VCs does not exist. Because of this, Harrison and Zappen (2005) believe that each VC can be seen as “an experiment in accommodating the tensions between access to hardware/software infrastructure, design of the particular application or system, user needs, and the initiating and ongoing resources that support these efforts”. Wenger et al. (2005) state that there is no “perfect” technology configuration for VCs, believing that the choice of technology changes from community to community over time, further complicating the situation. This paper presents the findings of four case studies of VC development and compares them through use of a cross case analysis. The paper first introduces a literature review of VCs, before detailing the study's research questions and aim. The methodology of the study, including summaries of the four case studies, will then be introduced. Finally, results from the analysis of the four case studies will be presented in the discussion and analysis section, before the study conclusions are detailed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In conclusion, the study's findings indicate a number of interesting factors that play significant roles in the development of VCs. Firstly, the results highlight that culture is the most important of the four dimensions identified. The correct culture encourages member contributions and return visits which are required to achieve a critical mass of members and therefore creating a flourishing community that is of use to its members. The correct culture also decreases development times and functionality turnarounds. The findings also suggest that the choice of technology is also an important factor, whereby successful VCs utilise community platforms rather than building from scratch. With regard to resources, we have seen that grant funded communities are susceptible to waste and that a sufficiently sized development and management teams are required. Business models are another interesting aspect, with very few being available at the present time due to the innovative nature of VCs. Finally, we have seen that functionality that is both useful and familiar to members is imperative to the success of the VC. As mentioned previously, a structured, rigorous development methodology based on academic research is required in order to successfully create and manage VCs. It is apparent that there is no “one size fits all” method for developing VCs and therefore the possibility of a roadmap of decisions would be an interesting place to start. Future research into this area would be of interest. Industry practitioners wishing to create and manage their own VCs should take heed that this task is not an easy responsibility. In fact, one of the study findings is that the main challenge in creating successful VCs is not that of developing them, but that of increasing member participation and return visits. It is therefore essential that industry practitioners remove the many obstacles and barriers associated with member contribution. They must also avoid ‘micro-managing’ the community, as VCs do not respond well to being managed in this way, with excessive rules and regulations turning members away (Muller-Seitz and Reger, 2009). This study also has implications for future research. The study has shown that culture is the most important dimension of the development of a B2B VC, and it is therefore important to carry out research to investigate the way in which culture is created. In addition, future research can investigate the relationship between the four dimensions of B2B VC development identified in this study. Finally, it is important to highlight the limitations of the study. Of the four case studies selected, only a selection of participants were interviewed. Future analysis into a larger number of successful VCs would lead to a more beneficial insight into success strategies and methods of overcoming the obstacles highlighted in this analysis. Although this study identifies that a structured, rigorous development method based on academic research is required in order to create and maintain successful VCs, suc