Community Information Systems – A Social Capital Perspective

February 7th, 2022

In this thesis we research the use of social capital in information systems in organizational and non-organizational contexts with the aim to conceptualize framework for community information systems.

Thesis Type
  • Master
Ralf Klamma
Benedikt Hensen

Social capital is a social theory stating that humans can invest in social relationships like in companies or education (intellectual) capital with the hope that the investments pay back. Examples of such a valorisation is the increase of job offers through the contributions to an open-source software repository like github or the increase of friendship requests on social networking sites through the completion of a user profile. Community Information Systems are information systems for professional communities of practice that are using Web platforms to organize their work and their learning processes.

In this thesis we research existing scientific and practical valorisation approaches of information systems in organizational and non-organizational contexts. Based on this analysis, we conceptualize a social capital framework for community information systems.

The current valorisation approach is based on an open-source peer-to-peer community system called las2peer ( Using a blockchain, we have defined a cyber currency to express the social capital invested in communities. In the future, smart contracts realize accumulation and distribution of social capital within the community information systems. Application areas are collaborative crowdsourcing platforms like the Requirements Bazaar and learning environments like MOOCS and LMS. The student should have interests in conceptual topics between economics and computer science.


This thesis is suited for students with interests in desk research and/or empirical research.