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Matching cognitively sympathetic individual styles to develop collective intelligence in digital communities

  • Salim ChujfiEmail author
  • Christoph Meinel
Original Article


Creation, collection and retention of knowledge in digital communities is an activity that currently requires being explicitly targeted as a secure method of keeping intellectual capital growing in the digital era. In particular, we consider it relevant to analyze and evaluate the empathetic cognitive personalities and behaviors that individuals now have with the change from face-to-face communication (F2F) to computer-mediated communication (CMC) online. This document proposes a cyber-humanistic approach to enhance the traditional SECI knowledge management model. A cognitive perception is added to its cyclical process following design thinking interaction, exemplary for improvement of the method in which knowledge is continuously created, converted and shared. In building a cognitive-centered model, we specifically focus on the effective identification and response to cognitive stimulation of individuals, as they are the intellectual generators and multiplicators of knowledge in the online environment. Our target is to identify how geographically distributed—digital—organizations should align the individual’s cognitive abilities to promote iteration and improve interaction as a reliable stimulant of collective intelligence. The new model focuses on analyzing the four different stages of knowledge processing, where individuals with sympathetic cognitive personalities can significantly boost knowledge creation in a virtual social system. For organizations, this means that multidisciplinary individuals can maximize their extensive potential, by externalizing their knowledge in the correct stage of the knowledge creation process, and by collaborating with their appropriate sympathetically cognitive remote peers.


Argumentation research Cyber humanistic Cognition Collaboration Knowledge building Knowledge management Teamwork Virtual groups 



This article is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled “Prototyping a Cognitive-Centered Model to Improve Knowledge Creation in Geographically Distributed Teams” presented at the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Applications (ICKEA), Singapore, 2016, pp. 181–187.

Author contributions

SC carried out the evaluation of theories and models, validated the different cognitive dimensions and participated in the evaluation of different scenarios and results with a team of teleworkers in Austria. The sequence alignment and drafting of the manuscript was done by SC. CM led the design of the study.


This research has not received any funding and is part of a doctoral promotion at the Hasso Plattner Institute, which is affiliated to Potsdam University in Germany.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Agreements with organizations working with teleworkers have been undertaken to anonymously collect information. Data protection agreements remain unchanged.

Availability of data and material

Data collected from organizations and their teleworkers are under data protection agreement and cannot be shared even if they are anonymously collected and evaluated.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hasso Plattner InstitutePotsdamGermany

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