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There is an advance in online collaboration tools, such as online collaboration platforms, in knowledge intensive organizations where people organize themselves to work towards a collective goal by ...
There is an advance in online collaboration tools, such as online collaboration platforms, in knowledge intensive organizations where people organize themselves to work towards a collective goal by means of online groups. We study the relationship between the structural position of ego in and between two online groups and the behavior ego exhibits in and between both groups. Using theories of structural holes, structural equivalence and structural cohesion, and Simmelian ties, we propose three structural positions of ego where two groups overlap that influences the role(s) that can be played by ego in and between both online groups. Being active in multiple online groups can foster the sharing of information between these groups, however, we argue that in certain circumstances it can work counterproductive. Social network analysis theory lacks theory on the effects of multiple group membership. In order to better understand the effect of multiple group membership on information sharing in organizational online environments, we focus on the role of ego as an active member of two online groups. We will use the term ‘bridging member’ for this scenario. We use communicative genres as organizing structures on online communities in order to determine the behavior ego plays in each group, and the effect when ego is and is not the only bridging member between the two groups. We find that the level of constrain for ego depends on the structural position of ego between two groups.