Prior Publisher

The Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL)


The National Repository of Digital Forensics Information (NRDFI) is a knowledge repository for law enforcement digital forensics investigators (LEDFI). Over six years, the NRDFI has undertaken significant design revisions in order to more closely align the architecture of the system with theory addressing motivation to share knowledge and communication within ego-centric groups and communities of practice. These revisions have been met with minimal change in usage patterns by LEDFI community members, calling into question the applicability of relevant theory when the domain for knowledge sharing activities expands beyond the confines of an individual organization to a community of practice. When considered alongside an empirical study that demonstrated a lack of generalizability for existing theory on motivators to share knowledge, a call for deeper investigation is clear. In the current study, researchers apply grounded theory methodology through interviews with members of the LEDFI community to discover aspects of community context that appear to position communities of practice along a continuum between process focus and knowledge focus. Findings suggest that these contextual categories impact a community’s willingness to participate in various classes of knowledge support initiatives, and community positioning along these categories dictates prescription for design of knowledge based decision support systems beyond that which can be found in the current literature.


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