Business customer communities and knowledge sharing: Exploratory study of critical issues

Pablo Erat, Kevin C. Desouza, Anja Schäfer-Jugel, Monika Kurzawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Businesses in knowledge intensive industries must appropriately engage with their customers in order to produce goods and services that are desired and valued in the marketplace. Engagement with customers calls for exchanging information and knowledge with customers and fostering exchanges between customers. Recent developments in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have radically increased the variety of opportunities for improving customer engagement. In this paper, we will examine the use of ICTs to build Business Customer Communities (BCCs) to help an organization foster knowledge exchanges between its professional and institutional customers. We define BCCs as groups of business customers, which are deliberately enabled by a firm and share a long-term need to exchange work related knowledge through online and offline interaction. The objectives of this study are (1) to describe BCCs and outline their attributes and features, and (2) to contribute to the understanding of challenges associated with the enabling of BCC formation and how firms can overcome these challenges. As such, a contribution is made to the discussion of knowing in practice in customer communities, which rely in large part on ICT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-524
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Case study
  • Communities of practice
  • Customers
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Knowledge
  • Knowledge management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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