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ERIC Number: ED567520
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-3093-8
Virtual Communities of Practice: A Netnographic Study of Peer-to-Peer Networking Support among Doctoral Students
Allen, Ila R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Obtaining a PhD can be one of the most fulfilling achievements in academia, but for the doctoral student, the journey can lead to attrition prior to the completion of a degree. Research indicated that institutional policies and practices can directly affect doctoral students in completing the dissertation due to lack of structure and support. Specifically, literature suggested that there is a lack of socialization, isolation from peers and faculty, a lack of personal and professional support, stress, and a plethora of issues that plague a doctoral student. Based on data collected from surveys, archived text, and in-depth one-on-one interviews, this qualitative study that used a netnography approach showed doctoral students are addressing these issues by seeking support from a doctoral virtual/online peer community. This qualitative study also disclosed that isolation and a resulting lack of socialization creates a common experience within the doctoral programs of these students. Participants revealed a high desire for more support options created by and encouraged by their respective institutions (e.g., interaction with peers and faculty in a consistent and welcoming environment). As such, the study's significant contribution to the field of organization and management is that doctoral students' experience would be impacted positively by the implementation of online support programs such as the one evaluated in this study. In turn, an organization's long-term sustainability would improve, because of the reduced attrition by doctoral students' prior to completion of their degrees and the positive impact on the resultant issues of revenue (tuition) reduction and reduced enrollments due to public and prospective students' perception. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A