Intellectual Capital in Churches: Matching Solution Complexity with Problem Complexity
The problems organizations face have varying degrees of complexity. What is not often understood, however, is that the knowledge needed to solve these problems also varies in complexity, and should match the complexity of the problem itself. The current study provides grounded theory for how leaders in churches should approach problems relating to Intellectual Capital (IC) assets. These intangible assets are crucial to the ability of churches to create value that enriches the lives of individuals in their communities. In two, 90-minute focus groups, the leadership team of a United Methodist Church in South Carolina, USA was asked about their IC and their past, present, and future solutions to increasing IC value. Qualitative coding of these transcripts found that leadership often provided knowledge-based solutions that did not match the assumed complexity of the IC problem. This caused numerous failures in the maintenance of IC. It is suggested that church leadership view all problems as knowledge problems to uncover these hidden assumptions of complexity, and use these assumptions to seek out knowledge-based solutions that match that complexity. These findings can be extended to non-religious contexts.
Values, Ethics and Participatory Policymaking in Online Communities
Drawing upon principles and lessons of technology law and policy, value-centered design, anticipatory design ethics, and information policy literatures this research seeks to contribute to understandings of the ways in which platform design, practice, and policymaking intersect on the social media site Reddit. This research explores how Reddit’s users, moderators, and administrators surface values (like free speech, privacy, dignity, and autonomy), hint at ethical principles (what content, speech, behavior ought to be restricted and under what conditions), through a continuous process of (re)negotiating expectations and norms around values, ethics, and power on the site. Central to this research are questions such as: Who or what influences and/or determines social practice on Reddit? Who participates in decision-making and using what processes and mechanisms? Where do controversies arise and how are they resolved? Generating findings from a particular controversy surrounding the subreddit /r/jailbait, the author illustrates the complexities inherent in these questions and suggests that a participatory policymaking approach might contribute to future research and practice in this area.
The Onion Routing: Understanding a Privacy Enhancing Technology Community
Internet technologies have made mass surveillance prevalent and much easier to carry out, while personal privacy is more difficult to protect. The ubiquitous data process has raised public awareness about the infringement of information privacy. To protect users’ information privacy, several entities have developed privacy enhancing technologies (PETs). One of the most well-known PETs is the Onion Router (Tor) network, which provides users with online anonymity. The Tor network is supported by a group of volunteers who contribute their resources to sustain the availability and quality of the service. However, Tor Volunteers may find themselves in a tough spot at times because Tor network is often monitored by law enforcement, which makes this PET community different from any other open-source initiatives. To explore this volunteer community’s motivation for providing the services despite the risks we conducted an online survey. Our study results reveal that one of the main motivations for these volunteers is to advocate and provide privacy for online users. In addition, Tor-relay operators report on their views about anonymous networks, the challenges they face, and how their belief in providing an opportunity for everyone to access information without interference or censorship is a key component of their volunteer participation.