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

See all articles by Ann Majchrzak

Ann Majchrzak

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Samer Faraj

McGill University

Gerald C. Kane

Boston College

Bijan Azad

American University of Beirut

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Majchrzak, Ann and Faraj, Samer and Kane, Gerald C. and Azad, Bijan, The Contradictory Influence of Social Media Affordances on Online Communal Knowledge Sharing (2013). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 19, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2536058

Ann Majchrzak (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Samer Faraj

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Gerald C. Kane

Boston College ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.profkane.com

Bijan Azad

American University of Beirut ( email )

Beirut, 0236
Lebanon

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