Promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks: a conceptual framework

Etienne Wenger, Beverly Trayner, Maarten de Laat, Ruud de Moor Centrum, Dec 22, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is pre-reading for the next post. Wenger, Trayner and De Laat provide "a conceptual foundation for promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks." (60 page PDF) By this they mean "the value of the learning enabled by community involvement and networking." They distinguish between networks (the set of relations among individuals) and communities (what I would have called 'groups') (the set of shared values and objectives). They define a set of 'cycles of value' - immediate practical value, potential value (knowledge capital), applied value (changes in practice), etc. They then define levels of indicators for each cycle of value. Taking a set of these together results in the creation of a 'value-creation story'. This gives us a picture of evidence of value (which to a certain degree resembles Kirkpatrick's). It's smart, thorough and directly applicable to the building of business cases for social networking applications.

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