[Air-l] Company vs. Community

craig stroupe cstroupe at d.umn.edu
Mon Dec 17 06:49:28 PST 2001

Whether a company is a community depends on how people use it, not just its 
objective characteristics.  You could also ask about the difference between 
a company and a religion.

Best, - Craig

At 09:17 AM 12/13/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>I teach an MBA E-Commerce class.  In the customary class on online
>communities, we started off with a simple question- "What is the difference
>between a (for-profit)company and a community?"
>This seemingly simple question tied us up into knots as we tried to identify
>attributes that distinguished the two.  The ones we did come up with
>included contractual vs. voluntary membership, rigid vs. loose
>organizational structure, paid vs. unpaid participants etc.  I think you see
>where I am going.
>At the end of the discussion, one student(who has a Ph.D in biology) said-
>"Isn't community an all-encompassing construct? Can it not be argued that a
>company is really a type of community?"  While I respected his comments, it
>really underscored the need to understand this better.
>I know community is a construct that is backed by decades of research.  I
>have seen some of the seminal works- but perhaps, not all.
>How would you answer the basic question I started out with?
>Visit my Thought
>Air-l mailing list
>Air-l at aoir.org

* * * * Craig Stroupe / Assistant Professor / University of Minnesota 
Duluth / Department of Composition / 1201 Ordean Court # 420/ Duluth, MN 
55812 / 218-726-6249 / fax 218-726-8228 / 
<http://www.d.umn.edu/~cstroupe>  * * * * 
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