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Title:More than communities: organizing in online interaction spaces
Author(s):Lambert, Natalie J
Director of Research:Poole, Marshall Scott
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Poole, Marshall Scott
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lammers, John C.; Jackson, Sally; Diesner, Jana; Simeone, Michael
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Online community
Online organization
Four Flows Model
Abstract:This dissertation examined four online forums for evidence of organizing in order to evaluate the accuracy of the term "online community" for describing all online interaction spaces. The Four Flows Model (McPhee & Zaug, 2000) was used as a guiding theoretical framework during a content analysis of the messages within each forum in order to identify the type and amount of organizational processes enacted through forum members' interactions. Mintzberg's (1979) conceptualization of the organization and the Four Flows Model were used to interpret the results of the content analysis and a network analysis of the forums' communication networks in order to determine whether any of the forums functioned and were constituted as organizations. Evidence of all four types of organizing processes were found within each of the forums, and two forums were determined to function as organizations. The definition of online community was revised in light of the results, and a definition was offered for the new concept, "online organization" that describes how larger communities of shared interest can organize within online interaction spaces to accomplish members' shared goals. A theoretical model was also developed to situate all online interaction spaces relative to one another according to the prevalence of organizational and social messages within them.
Issue Date:2016-07-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Natalie J. Lambert
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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