The conceptual framework for community development

This research outlines my conceptual framework built out from the four definitional components to include core conditions and key attributes. The framework was developed through open and axial coding of rich text data collected from multiple sources (interviews, observations, documents, web site audits, artifacts and published and promotional materials).

The convener is the one person most likely to have high levels of continuity and contact with members in roles right across the community and understand community infrastructure, activity, development and history.  Since the research was focussed on the management role in community development the key informants for this research became the community conveners. This blog and the collaborative activities planned to surround each case study are for me an unmissable opportunity to dynamically verify, moderate and challenge the findings by soliciting opinions and perspectives from a broader community membership. It will also be an opportunity to examine if and how these conditions may vary with time as communities have continued to mature and embrace new structures and technologies since the original research data was collected.

The three levels of the conceptual framework are components, conditions and attributes.

  • Components – definitional components of community
  • Conditions – the key issues arising for each component
  • Attributes – ways the issue was realised or addressed

For example:

  • Component: People
  • Condition: has leadership (parent) as a condition
  • Attribute: a passionate core group (child) was one observed attributes of successful leadership.

The four pages linked on this blog briefly outline the key findings for the four definitional components of community and what managers and conveners can do to support them. I want to introduce these now in preparation for our first in-depth review and community case study in July. Each case study will be chosen to exemplify, elucidate or broaden understanding of one of more of these core conditions.

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Welcome to Community Capers!

Community Capers is a place to showcase and case study some of the most successful online communities out there. Each month we will focus on an issue of community development and a community of practice that demonstrates a highly effective way to address that issue.

Each month we will:

  1. present a community case story
  2. hear from guest bloggers from the spotlighted community
  3. take a guided field trip to the community space
  4. sit in a round table conversation in the Community Capers Second Life site
  5. produce of a summary resource as a publication.

The first community will be introduced in June of 2008 and for the coming three weeks I will unpack some of the key findings of my research into successful community building in Internet-mediated Communities of practice (IMCoPs) as a background to our first capers.

Bronwyn Stuckey