Governance of Virtual Communities: A Literature Review and a Conceptual Framework

Jason Li-Ying, Søren Salomo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Researchers have shown growing interests in the governance of virtual communities, especially in the open source software communities. Many issues concerning the governance of virtual communities have been discussed in the literature, e.g., motivations to participate and contribute, openness of participation architecture, control, open source license, ownership and appropriation of intellectual property, communication patterns, goal setting, decision-making, role of trust, etc. However, research areas in the extant literature on the governance of virtual communities are rather scattered. There has yet no systematic approach towards a clear definition of governance in virtual communities and our knowledge on what key governance mechanisms are and how they differ in various types of virtual communities is very much limited to date. A lack of holistic framework on this issue prevents scholars from fully understanding the functions of governance in virtual communities, which in turn also rends difficulties to probe the performance of virtual communities. For these reasons, the purposes of this paper is to: (1) propose a working definition of the governance in virtual communities based on the extant literature; (2) identify key governance mechanisms in virtual communities; and (3) finally develop a typology for virtual communities in which distinctive governance features prevail in each type of virtual communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18TH INTERNATIONAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE proceeding
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event18th International Product Development Management Conference: Innovate through design - Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Jun 20117 Jun 2011
http://www.eiasm.org/frontoffice/event_announcement.asp?event_id=670

Conference

Conference18th International Product Development Management Conference
LocationDelft University of Technology
CountryNetherlands
CityDelft
Period05/06/201107/06/2011
Internet address

Keywords

  • user-innovation communities
  • Virtual communities
  • governance

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