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From Groups to Communities: A Resource Mobilization Theory Perspective on the Emergence of Communities

Angelopoulos, S. and Canhilal, S.K. and Hawkins, M.A. (2023) 'From Groups to Communities: A Resource Mobilization Theory Perspective on the Emergence of Communities.', Information Systems Frontiers .


Groups and communities have been key topics in the information systems (IS) research agenda. While communities are assumed to emerge at the intersection of overlapping groups and their practices, prior research has mainly focused on their dynamics and evolution. This has resulted to limited empirical support regarding the emergence of communities. We address that lacuna by tracing the emergence of communities through the prism of resource mobilization theory. In doing so, we make use of a unique longitudinal dataset and incorporate Topic Modelling, Bipartite Network Analysis, and Community Detection. We show that new communities are formed at the intersection of overlapping groups and practices. In addition, we contribute to the IS literature by demonstrating that their emergence occurs due to resource mobilization that gives rise to a shared mindset. We also reveal that multiple resources are incorporated into the practices of an emerging community. By combining large datasets and innovative computational approaches, we help IS theory and practice to move away from traditional "what" questions towards the more insightful "how" ones. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our work and delineate an agenda for future research on the topic.

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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date accepted:02 January 2023
Date deposited:03 January 2023
Date of first online publication:No date available
Date first made open access:18 January 2023

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