A Design Theory for IT supporting Online Communities

Spagnoletti, Paolo and Resca, Andrea (2012) A Design Theory for IT supporting Online Communities. In: 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 4-7 January 2012, Grand Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Download (112kB)


Differently from other studies that tend to take into consideration actual behaviors of online community users, this paper addresses the design problem of IT platforms for supporting these communities. At the basis of this design theory here introduced there is the so called kernel theory. The comparison between offline and online communities allowed to outline main factors of this theory that were used in order to derive prescriptions for the meta-requirements, the product features (meta-design), the design process (design method) and the definition of testable design product and process hypotheses. An intelligent multimedia platform providing innovative social e-services for European elderly persons and their social entourage constituted the case study in which the IT design theory was applied.


[1] Alchian, A.A. and H. Demsetz, Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization. The American Economic Review, 62(5), p. 777-795, 1972. [2] Balasubramanian S. and Mahajan V., “The Economic Leverage of the Virtual Community,” International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 2001, 5(3), pp. 103-138 [3] Bertota J.C., Jaegera P.T. and Grimes J.M., Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies, Government Information Quarterly, Volume 27, Issue 3, July 2010, Pages 264-271 [4] Butler, B., Membership size, communication activity, and sustainability: The internal dynamics of networked social structures. Information Systems Research 12, 4, 346–362, 2001 [5] Dubin, R., Theory Building, revised edition, London: Free Press, 1978 [6] Friesen, G.B. Redefining B2C: From ”business to consumer” to ”building toward community.” Consulting to Management, 15, 1 (March 2004), 21–26. [7] Gregor S. and Jones D., The Anatomy of a Design Theory. JAIS vol. 8, Issue 5, Art 2, 2007 [8] Gregor, S., The Nature of Theory in Information Systems, MIS Quarterly, (3)30, pp. 611-642, 2006 [9] Hagel, J.I. and A. Armstrong, Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities, Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press, 1997 [10] Hevner, A.R, March S.T., Park J. and Ram S., Design Science in Information Systems Research” MIS Quarterly, 28 (1): pp. 75-105, 2004 [11] Honglei, Virtual Community Studies: A Literature Review, Synthesis and Research Agenda, Proceedings of the Americas Conference on Information Systems, New York, New York, August 2004 [12] Jones, Q. & Rafaeli, S., “Time to Split, Virtually: 'Discourse Architecture' and ‘Community Building' Create Vibrant Virtual Publics,” Electronic Markets, 2000, 10(4), pp. 214-223 [13] Kim, A.J., Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, Berkeley: Peachpit Press, 2000. [14] Koh J., Kim YG, Butler B, and Bock GW, Encouraging participation in virtual communities. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 50, No. 2, 2007 [15] Kozinets, R.V., The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities. Journal of Marketing Research, 2002. 39(1): p. 61-72. [16] Macaulay L. A., Keeling K., McGoldrick P., Dafoulas G., Kalaitzakis E., and Keeling D., “Co-evolving E-tail and On-Line Communities: Conceptual Framework”, International Journal of Electronic Commerce / Summer 2007, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 53–77. [17] Markus M.L., Majchrzak A. and Gasser L., A design theory for systems that support emergent knowledge processes. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 172-212, 2002 [18] McWilliam, G., Buidling Stronger Brands Through Online Communities. Sloan Management Review, 41(3): p. 43-54, 2000 [19] Nancy, J.-L., The Inoperative Community, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1991. [20] Olson, M., The logic of collective action: public goods and the theory of groups, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971. [21] Ostrom, E., Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3), p.137-158 2000. [22] Ostrom, E., Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. [23] Pravettoni, G., Web Psycology, Milano: Guerini e Associati, 2002. [24] Preece, J. Sociability and usability in online communities: Determining and measuring success. Behavior & Information Technology, 20, 5 (September 2001), 347–357. [25] Preece, J. Supporting community and building social capital. Commun. ACM 45, 4, 37–39. 2002 [26] Rheingold, H., The virtual community: homesteading on the electronic frontier, Reading: Addison-Wesley, 1993. [27] Rothaermel, F. and Sugiyama, S. Virtual Internet communities and commercial success: Individual and community-level theory grounded in the atypical case of TimeZone.com. Journal of Management 27, 3 (Aug. 2001), 297–312. [28] Scriven, M. Evaluation Thesaurus. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1991 [29] Simon, H., The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd edition, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996 [30] Stanoevska-Slabeva K., Schmid B.F., A Typology of Online Communities and Community Supporting Platforms, Proceedings of the 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2001 [31] Stockdale R. and Borovicka M., Developing an Online Business Community: A Travel Industry Case Study, Proceedings of the 39th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2006 [32] Tonnies, F., Community and association: (Gemeinschaft und gesellschaft), London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1955. [33] Van Aken, J., Management Research Based on the Paradigm of the Design Sciences: The Quest for Field-tested and Grounded Technological Rules, Journal of Management Studies, (41)2, pp. 219-246, 2004 [34] Walls, J. G., G. R. Widmeyer, and O. A. El Sawy, “Building an Information System Design theory for Vigilant EIS, Information Systems Research, (3)1, pp. 36-59, 1992 [35] Walls, J. G., G. R. Widmeyer, and O. A. El Sawy, Assessing Information System Design Theory in Perspective: How Useful Was Our 1992 Rendition?, Journal of Information Technology Theory and Practice, (6)2, pp. 43-58, 2004 [36] Walsh, D.F., Structure/Agency. In C. Jenks, cur. Core sociological dichotomies. London: Sage Publications, 1998 [37] Wasko, M.M. and S. Faraj, Why Should I Share? Examining Social Capital and Knowledge Contribution in Electronic Networks of Practice. MIS Quarterly, 29(1): p. 35-57, 2005. [38] Wellman, B., Networks in the global village: life in contemporary communities, Boulder Colo: Westview Press, 1998. [39] Williams, R.L. and J. Cothrel, Four Smart Ways to Run Online Communites. Sloan Management Review, 41(1): p. 81-92, 2000

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Research documents and activity classification: Conference Items > International Conferences > Uninvited Submissions
Divisions: Department of Business and Management > CeRSI (Information Systems Research Centre)
Uncontrolled Keywords: online community, social networks, design theory
MIUR Scientific Area: Area 13 - Economics and Statistics > SECS-P/10 Business Organisation
Area 09 - Industrial and Information Engineering > ING-INF/05 Data Processing Systems
Deposited by: Paolo Spagnoletti
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 13:16
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2015 00:14
URI: http://eprints.luiss.it/id/eprint/1109


Downloads per month over past year

Repository Staff Only

View Item View Item