Enhancing Business Networks using Social Network Based Virtual Communities

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Industrial Management & Data Systems

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Lea, Bih-Ru; Yu, Vincent Wen-Bin; Maguluru, Nisha; Nichols, Michael F.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Business Links; Information Centers; Virtual Organizations; Social networks; Business Links; Information Centers; Virtual Organizations; Social networks; Business; Computer Sciences
article description
Purpose - to enhance an entrepreneur's business network through the integration of the social network concepts and design principles of virtual communities. Design/methodology/approach - This study documents the design and initial deployment of a virtual community case, Innovation Information Infrastructure, based on social network concepts. Findings - Basic design principles, deployment strategy, and future directions for social network-based virtual communities are presented. Research limitations/implications - Because of resource and time constraints, only basic content service, communication tools, and transaction functions were implemented in the initial deployment. Future extensions of this study may include development of a personalized and intelligent information retrieval system utilizing data mining techniques, development of advanced communication features to promote active participation, and creation of automatic social network-tracking tools to monitor an individual's network evolution. Practical implications - Sample designs are provided for researchers who are interested in conducting a similar study. Originality/value - This study serves as a starting-point for how theories from social network and virtual community research streams can be applied in creating a virtual community that facilitates transformation of knowledge into products and services, which in turn lead to greater economic prosperity.