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Communities of enterprise : developing regional SMEs in the knowledge economy

Mason, Cecily, Castleman, Tanya and Parker, Craig 2008, Communities of enterprise : developing regional SMEs in the knowledge economy, Journal of enterprise information management, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 571-584.

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Title Communities of enterprise : developing regional SMEs in the knowledge economy
Author(s) Mason, Cecily
Castleman, Tanya
Parker, Craig
Journal name Journal of enterprise information management
Volume number 21
Issue number 6
Start page 571
End page 584
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Place of publication Bradford, England
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1741-0398
Keyword(s) virtual communities of practice (CoPs)
virtual communities of enterprise (VCoEs)
small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
cross-industry regional clusters
knowledge economy
knowledge management (KM)
knowledge sharing
social capital
Summary Purpose – This paper proposes the concepts of Communities of Enterprise (CoEs) and Virtual Communities of Enterprise (VCoEs) to describe business networking patterns in regional areas where there is no central organisational or industry focus and small and medium enterprises dominate the economy. Design/methodology/approach – Based on analysis of the literature this paper builds on theoretical understandings of knowledge management, clustering and regional development.
Findings – The concept of CoEs is most appropriate for regional areas characterised by many small enterprises in diverse industries. CoEs enhance development of regional clusters by contributing to their intellectual capital, innovation culture, value networks and social capital. The incorporation of ICT creates VCoEs which provide added potential by enabling regions to expand their learning potential through innovation.
Research limitations/implications – This paper provides a conceptual foundation for empirical research into regional network or cluster development using ICT.
Practical implications – Virtual Communities of Enterprise value creation potential is substantial but only when the socioeconomic elements of regional clusters are understood. The VCoE approach addresses the fact that without an industry focus it can be difficult to engage and link SMEs from different industries, although this is where the greatest potential
for value creation in regional clusters is to be found.
Originality/value – The Virtual Communities of Enterprise (VCoEs) concept specifically addresses the unique requirements of SMEs in regions. It has the potential to provide value for regions in a way few ICT based regional development initiatives have been able to achieve.
Notes Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 150314 Small Business Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017440

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.