Competition in Communities, Enterprise 2.0 Papers, KM Dissertation Project, Book Reviews by Graham Durant-Law

  1. Define and communicate clear expectations for community members so that they will all know the expected behavior.
  2. Ensure that the community leaders watch for undesirable behavior, and then take appropriate action, including:
  3. Counseling members privately on how to better collaborate in the community.
  4. Posting or providing comments which moderate and reduce competition.
  5. If these fail, removing community members who are divisive or antagonizing.
  6. Rely on the community members to police themselves by appropriately replying to or ignoring overly competitive members.
  • How does a KM system change the organizational culture?
  • Shifting power paradigms and knowledge sharing
  • Mandated change / organizational buy-in
  • Grassroots KM systems / organizational buy-in
  • What are the essential factors for successful KM system within the organization?
  1. Brokerage and Closure by Ronald Burt. It’s no secret that I am a fan of Professor Ronald Burt’s work. His book “Structural Holes: the Social Structure of Competition”, is a seminal publication. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for “Brokerage and Closure”, although I would still give it four stars. Read in sequence and in conjunction with each other they offer the knowledge management practitioner and network analyst some useful insights.
  2. Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another by Doctor Philip Ball, who is a physicist by education and a science writer for Nature. I read it because of my interest in networks and complexity, and this book promised some insights. It was an entertaining read, but was hard going in a lot of places. Despite this the book was well written and flowed naturally.
  3. Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek by Wouter de Nooy, Andrej Mrvar, and Vladimir Batagelj. Pajek means spider in Slovenian. Pajek is also a software program for the analysis and visualisation of very large networks; networks with thousands if not millions of vertices. It is a program I use occasionally, however I prefer UCINET and NetMiner 3, because I find these programs to be easier to use.
  4. Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World by Patti Anklam, who is a recognized practitioner in network analysis circles. The central theme is we work through informal and formal networks, which may be tangible or intangible, but all have value. Her primary assumption is that all networks can be mapped. These maps serve to describe the network and provide a diagnosis of the health of the mapped entity, albeit the map is a snapshot in time. Patti’s premise is if the network can be mapped and described then the network can be managed and weaved — a premise I largely agree with, and which is an underlying assumption in my research.
  5. Weak Links: Stabilizers of Complex Systems from Proteins to Social Networks by Peter Csermely, who is a Professor of Biochemistry at the Semmelweis University of Budapest. The central theme is weak links are the determinants of system stability and diversity. Csermely defines a link “as ‘weak’, when its addition or removal does not change the mean value of a target measure at a statistically discernible way”.
  6. Structural Holes: the Social Structure of Competition by Ronald Burt. This is a seminal publication and a must read for anyone interested in network theory. The book has an academic flavor but is well written, with many easy to understand examples. Burt’s central thesis is that structural holes in business networks are very important. A structural hole is a gap between two individuals. When the two are connected through a third individual important advantages accrue for the third individual, who may employ a tertius strategy.




Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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Stan Garfield

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager

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