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The effects of feature phones vs smart phones on communities of practice of business women in Nigeria: a context awareness approach

Ekeng-Itua, R.-M. (2018) The effects of feature phones vs smart phones on communities of practice of business women in Nigeria: a context awareness approach. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

The concepts of Communities of Practice (CoP) have been used for centuries all over the world to affect knowledge and information exchange, even more so in African Communities. Previous researchers have explored the efficacy of CoPs as a medium for knowledge management and exchange and have tended to focus on the educational sector in developed countries. Although, some literature mentions the far-reaching applications of CoPs in other sectors and its possible application in developing regions, there is still a lack of research in this area. The research gap becomes even more significant when seeking empirical data on the impact of information technology (IT) in knowledge and information exchange amongst CoPs of African Women and the value (social capital) that diverse forms of IT can have on CoPs in Africa. This PhD research therefore seeks to fill this research gap by investigating the impact of feature phones vs smart phones on a CoP of African Business Women using Nigeria as a case study. This offers a variety of opportunities to improve the socio-economic state of the country and region. CoPs are part of the fibre of the social structure in Africa. They exist informally and formally and have historically been known to be causative factors for socio-economic growth. This research therefore seeks to observe how these two (CoPs and Mobile Phones) socio­economic change causal factors interplay with each other, focusing on how "Value" (Social Capital) is created in CoPs female businesswomen through feature Phones vs smart phones. This research utilizes a novel tool for assessing value creation in communities and networks - the Wenger's Value Creation assessment framework. A picture of value created with CoPs using feature phones vs CoPs using smart phones is created using Wenger's Value Creation framework. Both Qualitative (Ethnography) and Quantitative (Surveys) approaches are used in this study.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Parslow, P. and Hwang, F.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
ID Code:82392

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