The recently developed knowledge-based view of the firm argues that knowledge is the firm’s most valuable resource. Within this field of study, informal social networks are rapidly gaining attention as mechanisms that facilitate knowledge flows. Electronic networks of practice are a special case of informal networks where the sharing of practice-related knowledge occurs primarily through computer-based communication technologies. However, we know relatively little about the dynamics of knowledge exchange that occur in these electronic networks. This paper posits that there is a relationship between the structural properties of electronic networks of practice and successful knowledge exchange. The theoretical positions of social network theory and the knowledge-based view of the firm are used to support this claim.


Knowledge networks of practice electronic community social networks 


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eoin Whelan
    • 1
  1. 1.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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