Online learning communities and their effects on relational capital

Journal ar
VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems
  • Volumen: 48
  • Número: 4
  • Fecha: 12 November 2018
  • Páginas: 491-503
  • ISSN: 20595891
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1108/VJIKMS-01-2018-0004
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Howard House Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: An online learning community is defined as the context where knowledge sharing takes place virtually. Prior research has revealed that it is fundamentally important for higher education institutions to leverage on internal and external sources of knowledge, which can improve the value of relational capital. However, in a higher education setting, the positive effects of relationship improvement because of knowledge sharing can be jeopardized by the circulation of unverified information (i.e. counter-knowledge). The purpose of this study has been to analyse if online learning communities can counteract the effects of counterknowledge. Design/methodology/approach: This study examined the relevance of online learning communities to counteract counter-knowledge, along with how this, in turn, can affect the creation of relational capital from the perspective of 210 undergraduate students using partial least squares. Findings: Results support that online learning communities may help universities to not only create relational capital but also contribute to clarify misunderstandings and prevent counter-knowledge learned from badly informed sources. Originality/value: There has been very limited research aimed at developing an adequate framework to analyze the role played by unverified information in universities. Therefore, this study fills this gap and proposes a framework focusing on the concept of online learning communities.

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