Social business: Motivation and Knowledge Sharing through Social Media within Organizations

Pia Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Traditional knowledge management through a centralized repository framework has been the prominent approach to knowledge sharing in organizations. The advent of social media is, however, reshaping the concept of knowledge management in organizations and more and more companies deploy ‘social business’ communication strategies. Through a case study approach, the study investigates employee motivation and which factors affect employees’ knowledge sharing through social media in their working environment. The case study is based on both qualitative and quantitative data collection.The research was conducted in a number of Danish organizations, from different industry sectors. In total 114 employees participated in an online survey and eight interviews were conducted. The study reviews literature concerning knowledge management and social media and how it can support knowledge sharing internally in organizations. Based on previous studies it is assumed that individual, organizational and technological factors affect employees knowledge sharing. The study shows that organizational factors have the strongest influence on employees’ knowledge sharing followed by individual factors. The technological factors do not seem to affect employees’ knowledge sharing as much as previously, but it is the influence from the combination of the individual and organizational factors, which determine whether an employee decides to adopt social media platforms for knowledge sharing. A key finding in the study is that employees do not hoard knowledge as much as previously due to they find it more beneficial to share knowledge than to hoard it. Employees are more concerned with providing valuable content, since the essence of knowledge sharing trough social media is to provide value to colleagues and the organization.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages104