Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the sets of relationships, both physical and virtual, on which school technology coordinators (STCs) rely in exchanging problemsolving knowledge. Using prestige as an indicator of knowledge exchange across school boundaries, a model of relational variables was constructed from social networks to explain the characteristics of personal knowledge exchange in STC communities. Design/methodology/approach – The analytical model designed for this research was based on social network theory. Egocentric interviews were conducted to collect relational data on knowledge exchange among STCs. Path analysis was applied to examine associations among relational variables. Findings – Prestigious STCs engage more in contributing knowledge to online communities of related competency than to STCs at other schools. They do not expend as much effort helping other STCs and only reciprocate within a smaller group from whom they have received advice. Online knowledge contributions have mediation effects for STCs with limited personal networks in becoming prestigious. Originality/value – Few studies have evaluated the sets of relationships on which teachers rely, to solve problems, and few empirical studies have focused on the features of personal knowledge exchange in a loosely coupled community of practice. This study uses prestige rather than job evaluations as an indicator for knowledgeintensive workers to examine the knowledgeexchange characteristics and demonstrate applicability to studies of communities of practice. The results also reveal deficiencies of knowledge dissemination in STC communities. These findings are relevant for studies of the information and communication technology practices of other professionals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Computer Science Applications
- Library and Information Sciences