The use of Actor-Network Theory and a Practice-Based approach to understand online community participation

Viva in progress

Viva in progress

My last work duty of 2012 has been to travel to the iSchool at the University of Sheffield to examine a PhD entitled The use of Actor-Network Theory and a Practice-Based Approach to understand online community participation. The viva went well and I’m pleased that the student will be awarded his PhD subject to minor corrections to the thesis. I was particularly interested in this work because it has parallels with my own doctoral study. In my work I analysed actor-networks that had developed around a knowledge management implementation within a large, distributed organisation to reveal the role of a corporate intranet in knowledge and information sharing.

My trip to Sheffield also afforded the opportunity to see colleagues at the iSchool. The night before the viva I caught up with Dr Andrew Cox and, amongst other things, we talked about how we might develop the work presented together with Nordic colleagues at ASIST2012 into a journal article. sheffield_uni_logo

I spent most of the day of the viva itself with Professor Nigel Ford. As well as finalising preparations for the exam, conducting it, and afterwards documenting the outcome, I very enjoyed talking to Nigel about a range of topics from photography to the punctuation of the University of Sheffield logo. I must say that I would love to know the function of that full stop.

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