1st Edition

Social Knowledge Management for Rural Empowerment Bridging the Knowledge Divide Using Social Technologies

    340 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    340 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    340 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

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    This book develops and examines the concepts and strategies for rural empowerment through the formation of a community-driven social knowledge management (SKM) framework aided by social technology. The framework is aimed at mobilizing knowledge resources to bridge the rural–urban knowledge divide while securing rural empowerment using digital connections and social collaborations built on strategies of self-sustenance and self-development. With key empirical findings supplemented by relevant theoretical structures, case studies, illustrative figures and a lucid style, the book combines social technologies and social development to derive a social knowledge management platform. It shows how the proposed SKM framework can enhance knowledge capabilities of rural actors by facilitating connection among rural–urban entities through formation of purposive virtual communities, which allow social agents to create, modify and share content collaboratively.

    The volume brings forward diverse issues such as conceptual foundations; bridging the rural–urban knowledge and information divide; issues of information and knowledge asymmetry; a knowledge-theoretic perspective of rural empowerment; knowledge capability, freedom of choice and wellbeing, to provide a comprehensive outlook on building a knowledge society through digital empowerment.

    This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of development studies, rural sociology, management studies, IT/IS, knowledge management and ICT for development, public policy, sociology, political economy and development economics. It will benefit professionals and policymakers, government and nongovernment bodies and international agencies involved with policy decisions related to application of technologies for rural development, social workers and those in the development sector.

    Figures and Tables



    Chapter 1: Introduction

    1 Preamble

    2 Organization of the book



    PART I

    Rural Empowerment: Bridging Rural–Urban Knowledge and Information Divide



    Chapter 2: Knowledge, Knowledge Divide and Knowledge Capability: A Conceptual Framework

    1 Introduction

    2 Defining Knowledge

    3 Knowledge: A Social Product

    4 Knowledge Divide

    5 Knowledge Capability

                5.1 The Importance of Knowledge in Capability Theory

                5.2 Dimensions of Knowledge Capability

    6 Managing Knowledge Resource to Enhance Knowledge Capability


    Chapter 3: Rural Empowerment: A Knowledge-Theoretic Approach

    1 Introduction

    2 Empowerment and its Manifestation in Rural Context

    3 Agency, Opportunity Structure and Social Capital: Facilitating Empowerment

                3.1 Empowerment and Agency

                3.2 Empowerment and Opportunity Structure

                3.3 Empowerment and Social Capital

    4 Empowerment as a Knowledge-Theoretic Concept

                4.1 Conceptualizing Rural Empowerment through Management of Knowledge

                4.2 Facilitating Rural Empowerment through Management of Knowledge

    5 Conclusion


    Chapter 4: Contemporary Initiatives Undertaken for Rural Empowerment

    1 Introduction

    2 ‘Rurbanization’: Promise and Practice

    3 United Nations’ Initiatives towards Rural Empowerment

    4 Rural Empowerment: Some Measures taken in Developing Nations

                4.1 Indonesia

                4.2 Iran

                4.3 India

                4.4 Pakistan

    5 Limitations of Current Institution-based Rural Empowerment Paradigms

    6 Conclusion


    Chapter 5: Information Asymmetry and Rural Producers

    1 Introduction

    2 The Need for Information and the Effect of Information Asymmetry       

    3 Information Asymmetry of Rural Producers in Developing Nations         

                3.1 Information Asymmetry between Producers themselves

                3.2 Information Asymmetry between Producers and their Prospective Buyers

                3.3 The Information Asymmetry between Rural Producers and Middlemen

                3.4 The Information Asymmetry between Rural Producers and Government Agencies

    4 Impact of Information Asymmetry on Market Efficiency: An Indian Case Study

                4.1 Methodology       

                4.2 Observation          

                4.3 Impact of Information Asymmetry on Indian Rural Producers: Findings

    5 Contemporary Measures Undertaken to Reduce Information Asymmetry

    6 Conclusion


    Chapter 6: Knowledge Asymmetry and its Mitigation through Enhancement of Knowledge Capability

    1 Introduction

    2 From Information Asymmetry to Knowledge Asymmetry

                2.1 Information and Knowledge: A Comparative Analysis

                2.2 From Information Asymmetry to Knowledge Asymmetry

    3 Knowledge Capability: From Knowledge Possession to Knowledge Operation

    4 Knowledge Capability of Rural Members in Mitigating Knowledge Asymmetry

                4.1The Capability Approach: Building Capability Set of Target Group

                4.2 A Knowledge-Centric Capability Approach for Mitigating Knowledge Asymmetry

    5 Conclusion



    Social Knowledge Management and Social Technologies: Conceptual Foundations



    Chapter 7: Knowledge Management and its Evolution in Organizational Context

    1 Introduction

    2 How Society Used to Manage Knowledge: A Historical Perspective        

    3 Information Systems and Globalization: Impetus to Knowledge Management     

    4 Knowledge Management: Definitions

    5 Knowledge Management: Processes and Strategies

                5.1 Processes of Knowledge Management

                5.2 Strategies of Knowledge Management in Organizational Context

    6 Three Generations of Knowledge Management in Organizational Context

                6.1 First Generation Knowledge Management

                6.2 Second Generation Knowledge Management

                6.3 Third Generation Knowledge Management

    7 Conclusion


    Chapter 8: Social Technology and Knowledge Management Practices

    1 Introduction

    2 Social Technology: A Conceptual Perspective

                2.1 Defining Social Technology

                2.2 Components of Social Technologies

    3 Social Technology and Knowledge Management

                3.1 Networking and Collaboration

                3.2 The Social Technology and SECI Model based Knowledge Processes

                3.3 Social Media Analytics and Customer Knowledge Management

                3.4 Management of Crowd Knowledge for Organizational Benefits

                3.5 Enterprise Social Software (ESS):  Social Tools for Knowledge Management

    4 Conclusion


    Chapter 9: Efforts Undertaken to Manage Social Knowledge and Information for Social Benefit

    1 Introduction

    2 Managing Social Knowledge: A Historical Perspective

    3 The First Generation: Facilitating Information Dissemination through Community Information Systems (CIS)

    4 The Second Generation: Facilitating Bidirectional Information Sharing

    5 The Third Generation: Facilitating Multi-directional Knowledge Collaboration

    6 Conclusion


    Chapter 10: Social Knowledge Management: A Social Technology-enabled Framework to Bridge Knowledge Asymmetry of Rural Producers through Virtual Community Formation

    1 Introduction

    2 Social Knowledge vs. Organizational Knowledge

    3 Organizational Knowledge Management vs. Managing Social Knowledge

    4 Social Knowledge Management: A Functional Perspective

    5 A Social Knowledge Management Framework to Mitigate Rural-Urban Knowledge Asymmetry

                5.1 The Conceptual Framework

                5.2 The Model of Intervention

    6 Conclusion




    Social Knowledge Management in Action: Some Empirical Studies in Rural India



    Chapter 11: Cultivating Online Communities of Practice to Facilitate Practice-Oriented Rural-Urban Knowledge Exchange through Collaborative Learning Spaces

    1 Introduction

    2 Conceptualizing Community of Practice

    2.1 Factors Leading to the Cultivation of Community of Practice

    2.2 Components of Community of Practice

    2.3 Structure of Community of Practice

    2.4 Factors Determining Sustainability of Community of Practice

    3 Collaborative Learning Spaces of Early Society

    4 Community of Practice in Action

    5 Building Community of Practice in Organizational Context

    6 Cultivating Online Communities of Practice in Rural Context

    6.1 Examples from Some Field Studies with the Self Help Group (SHG) Women in Rural India

    6.2 A Field-Study with Rural Youth in India

    7 Cultivating Online Communities of Practice using a Social Knowledge Management Platform

    8 Conclusion


    Chapter 12: Cultivating Communities of Purpose to Enhance Market Opportunities of Rural Producers through Collaborative Knowledge Transaction

    1 Introduction

    2 Community of Purpose: A Conceptual Framework

    3 The Role of Communities of Purpose in Bridging Market Separation of Rural Producers

    4 A Digital Framework towards Building Online Community of Purpose for Rural Producers

                4.1 Conceptual Foundations  

                4.2 Operationalizing the Framework: Mobilizing Rural-Urban Community towards Purposive Collaboration

    5 Architecting a Social Knowledge Management Platform to Cultivate Online Communities of Purpose for Rural Producers

                5.1 NCoRe: System Design

                5.2 Validation of NCoRe System

                5.3 Discussion

    6 Some Field Observations on Cultivating Communities of Purpose

                6.1 Objectives of the Study

                6.2 Background of the Study

                6.3 Insights from Field Work

                6.4 Findings from Field Work

                6.5 Discussions

    7 Conclusion


    Chapter 13: Cultivating Communities of Circumstance to Enhance Community Resilience through Knowledge Sharing using Collaboration and Connections

    1 Introduction

    2 Understanding Community Resilience

    3 Components of Community Resilience

    4 A Framework towards Building Online Communities of Circumstance: Mobilizing Community towards Resilience

                4.1 Communities of Circumstance

                4.2 An Operational Framework for Cultivating Online Communities of Circumstance

    5 Developing Resilient Community through Collaborative Knowledge Transaction: Some Examples from Disaster Management

                5.1 The Role of Knowledge Management in Disaster Situations: An Introduction

                5.2 Use of Social Media to Engage Community Members during Disaster for Situational Information and Knowledge Transaction

                5.3 Interactive Community-Sourcing: A Participatory Knowledge Management Practice during Disaster

                5.4 Cultivating Online Communities of Circumstance using a Collaborative Knowledge Management Platform: Towards a Disaster Resilient Community

    6 Conclusion


    Part IV

    What Tomorrow May Bring



    Chapter 14: Summery and Discussions

    1 Introduction

    2 Summery of Work

    3 Hindrances Faced during the Research Journey and Prospective Solutions

    4 Ethical Concerns addressed in the Research

    5 Conclusion


    Chapter 15: Building a Developmental Ecosystem for Rural Empowerment

    1 Developmental Ecosystem: Theory and Practice

    2 The Need for a Developmental Ecosystem for Holistic Rural Empowerment

    3 Building a Developmental Ecosystem for Rural Empowerment





    Somprakash Bandyopadhyay is Professor, Management Information Systems Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India. With a PhD in Computer Science, he has nearly 40 years of experience in teaching, research and technology development in several organizations of international repute. He was a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany and fellow of the Japan Trust International Foundation. He is the Founder-Director of Social Informatics Research Group at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.

    Sneha Bhattacharyya is Research Associate, Social Informatics Research Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India. With an M.Phil. in Social Sciences, her interests are in applying social techniques to optimally disseminate internet-enabled technology for upliftment of marginalized communities.

    Jayanta Basak is Senior Research Associate, Social Informatics Research Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India. He has an M.Tech in Computer Science and works in the areas of design and development of Social Information Systems for social development. He is also the Co-Founder-Director of NexConnect, a social business venture based in Kolkata for social inclusion through digital inclusion.