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The Importance of Trust and Community in Developing and Maintaining a Community Electronic Network
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (2003)
  • Alina R. Oxendine, Hamline University
  • Eugene Borgida, University of Minnesota
  • John L. Sullivan
  • Melinda Jackson
Focusing on two rural cities in Minnesota, this paper analyses ways in which these communities have gone about providing information technology to their citizens. This paper will explain why one city has chosen to take an entrepreneurial approach to networking and the other city has chosen a more collaborative approach, promoting equal access for its citizens. Based on interviews, focus groups, and surveys in the two cities, we find that these divergent approaches are related to fundamental cultural differences in the two communities. One city seems to have a more pronounced reservoir of social capital, meaning that people in this community tend to be more trusting, have more cohesive social ties and are prone toward collaboration. Cooperation and social trust, particularly among community leaders, seem to have played large roles in triggering the development of a community electronic network. Moreover, we discover that political engagement and interpersonal trust among the citizenry in this city seem to be pivotal in sustaining and perpetuating the community endeavor.
  • Social capital,
  • Community electronic network,
  • Rural technology,
  • Trus,
  • Digital divide
Publication Date
June, 2003
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
Alina R. Oxendine, Eugene Borgida, John L. Sullivan and Melinda Jackson. "The Importance of Trust and Community in Developing and Maintaining a Community Electronic Network" International Journal of Human-Computer Studies Vol. 58 Iss. 6 (2003) p. 671 - 696
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Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC-ND International License.