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Embeddedness and Media Use in Networks of Practice

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Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam


This paper analyzes the influence of embeddedness of networks of practice on the value of such networks in supporting the exchange of distributed knowledge. Based on a case study on networks of practice in an international development organization, we found that embeddedness in practice and social embeddedness of networks are both important determinants of this value. Different communication media used within a network of practice are found to influence such embeddedness: face-to-face interaction positively influences social embeddedness, whereas email interaction is a determinant of embeddedness in practice. Online discussion groups have an indirect influence on embeddedness
they provide insight into relevant subjects and help locate relevant knowledge. Furthermore, we found that the use of these discussion groups (a public medium) leads to more use of e-mail and face-to-face interaction (private media) over time.


van den Hooff, B.; Huysman, Marleen; Agterberg, Marlous (2007): Embeddedness and Media Use in Networks of Practice. Communities and Technologies 2007: Proceedings of the Third Communities and Technologies Conference. DOI: 28.1007/978-1-84628-905-7. Springer London, Dordrecht Amsterdam. ISBN: 978-1-4471-6239-1. pp. 371-394. Full Papers. Michigan State University, USA