The Contradictory Influence of Social Media Affordances on Online Communal Knowledge Sharing
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 19, 2013
18 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2013
The use of social media creates the opportunity to turn organization-wide knowledge sharing in the workplace from an intermittent, centralized knowledge management process to a continuous online knowledge conversation of strangers, unexpected interpretations and re-uses, and dynamic emergence.
We theorize four affordances of social media representing different ways to engage in this publicly visible knowledge conversations: metavoicing, triggered attending, network-informed associating, and generative role-taking. We further theorize mechanisms that affect how people engage in the knowledge conversation, finding that some mechanisms, when activated, will have positive effects on moving the knowledge conversation forward, but others will have adverse consequences not intended by the organization. These emergent tensions become the basis for the implications we draw.
Keywords: social media, affordances, online knowledge sharing
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