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Title:Knowledge Creation, Sharing and Reuse in Online Technical Support for Open Source Software
Author(s):Singh, Vandana
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Twidale, Michael B.
Department / Program:Library and Information Science
Discipline:Library and Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Computer Science
Abstract:This thesis presents research on Open Source Software technical support forums on the Internet. As part of this research a pilot study was done to understand the important factors to be studied from this domain. This pilot study was followed by an intensive research across different online communities of Open Source Software technical support. Grounded theory was used to conduct the research and present qualitative as well as quantitative results. Extensive literature review of multiple research streams established a lack of research in this area. Also, the growing numbers of these online communities and their members and the apparent complexity of these communities served as the main motivating factor for this research. This research presents results about the general landscape of these communities and specifically gives an insight into the collaborative problem solving process within these communities. Many surprising results were discovered within the course of this study, for example, the large number of participants and messages in these communities, the efficiency of problem solving, the knowledge creation and re-use in these communities, the unfolding of the stages of life-cycle of these problem solving processes and the complexity of these processes are some of the interesting findings from this research. These results shed light on the internal workings of these communities and also lay out a strong future research agenda for this domain. Since this research adopted grounded theory as the method of choice, it also developed a framework to better understand, evaluate and explore these communities. This framework is called PCP Framework and will be evaluated and improved in future research. This research also presents a step by step grounded theory methodology for a research of this nature. The results from this research contribute towards the understanding of this domain, lay out the landscape of this domain, present a framework for future work and give an in-depth understanding of the collaborative problem solving process of these communities.
Issue Date:2008
Description:272 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3314895
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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