At this year’s Academy of Management Conference, which will take place in Vancouver, BC, in August, my colleague Christine Moser (VU Amsterdam) and I are going to organize a panel symposium entitled ‘Online Communities Research: Quo Vadis? Perspectives on Knowledge Work, Collaboration, & Innovation’. We are proud to have have Linus Dahlander (ESMT), Samer Faraj (McGill), Ann Majchrzak (USC), and Yuqing Ren (University of Minnesota) as panelists. The symposium is sponsored by the Organizational Communication and Information Systems Division, Business Policy and Strategy Division, and the Technology and Innovation Management Division. Our session is scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2015, from 3:00-4:30pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Room 224. If you are a management scholar interested in online communities, we hope to meet you there. You can find the abstract below.
Research on online communities has once and for all entered the field of organization and management studies. We currently witness a growing number of publications on the subject of online communities in top journals in the field. Furthermore, numerous sessions at last year’s annual meeting of the Academy of Management were dedicated to the topic. Online communities are often described as new organizational forms or meta-organizations, in which knowledge collaboration can take place on an unprecedented scale. They may be employed both within firm boundaries and beyond them, enabling organizations to engage in open and user innovation. They also constitute an important ingredient in many firms’ digital business strategy. After some 20 years of research into online communities, it is time for taking stock of existing research and looking ahead into the future of the field. The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum of exchange for management researchers interested in online communities. Emphasis will be given to how online communities are used for knowledge work, collaboration, and innovation. To that end, we have enrolled top scholars in the field of online communities research who will present their views and experiences. Several prevalent issues will be raised during a facilitated discussion. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn from their colleagues when it comes to designing and conducting future online community studies.