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Research Issues in Knowledge Management and Social Media


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The lecture introduces "Global Social Knowledge Management" - it starts with conceptual foundations and discusses research approaches and methodologies and potentially interesting research topics. Several studies on KM and Social Software are outlined, in particular studies on barriers of KM in global settings as well as utilizing SoSo for KM.

Published in: Business
  • Thanks for the share Jan. We're an innovative Belgium-based company which has been deploying social knowledge sharing environments within organisations for the past five years – mix between social search, internal social networks, etc. Feel free to check out the stuff we do in the field with Knowledge Plaza.
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  • Jon, that's why I post my stuff on slideshare - to receive great comments like yours! the knowing why is definetly a perspective to add and discuss deeper!
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  • A very useful & informative set of slides. One are of work I can see that looks like there is plenty yet to work on (because of my own research interests & bias) is knowledge modelling. Slide 10 has an implied hierarchy, yet the digital domain in some ways turns this upside down -- when one can render knowledge (or aspects of it) as data it becomes very valuable. The traditional KM pyramid of data-information-knowledge-wisdom (DIKW) only represents a one-way value-chain (albeit a very valid one).
    Secondly, (another research bias of mine), I think there needs to be some more research done on aspects of 'knowing-why'. Social Media enables this to a large extent through the spaces for dialogue that it facilitates. But mainstream KM has a long way to go before it has fully explored the scope of 'know-why'. Nonaka & Takeuchi have to some extent in 'The Wise Leader'
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Research Issues in Knowledge Management and Social Media

  1. 1. The use of social software for Knowledge Management in globally distributed settings Jan Pawlowski & Henri Pirkkalainen Global Information Systems group Department of Computer Science and Information Systems TJTSD66 Advanced Topics in Social Media
  2. 2. Global Information SystemsMission Statement Creating and validating new solutions for Information Systems in a global context - this includes the support of individuals and organizations to improve competitiveness, performance, and mutual understandingTopics Designing work and learning processes in globally distributed organizations Design & development methods for global information systems Culture analysis and awareness Support tools for knowledge intensive processes in global organizations ICT4D: ICT for development E-Learning and knowledge management in global organizations
  3. 3. Global Information Systems, University of Jyväskylä The Team Denis Kozlov Kati Clements Jan M. Pawlowski Henri Philipp Holtkamp Pirkkalainen
  4. 4. Twitter feedback channel #GSKM13You can provide feedback and ask questions regarding our part and the research topics through Twitter
  5. 5. Social Software for KM: Contents Knowledge Management in Global Settings Social Software – Vocabulary in IS field? Starting point for global inspection - Barriers Focus in KM – what has been studied and how? Towards unexplored research territories
  6. 6. A first questionWhat is common knowledge?
  7. 7. Sauna: German instructions
  8. 8. Sauna: American instructions
  9. 9. Sauna: Finnish instructions
  10. 10. Related Concepts (modified, North, 1998) Competitiven ess + Competence uniqueness +applying to Skill new settings Knowledge +use Information +context Data +meaningSymbol +syntax
  11. 11. Definition: Knowledge Management“Knowledge management is defined as the management function responsible forthe regular selection, implementation and evaluation of goal-orientedknowledge strategies that aim at improving an organization’s way of handlingknowledge internal and external to the organization in order to improveorganizational performance. The implementation of knowledge strategiescomprises all person-oriented, organizational and technological instrumentssuitable to dynamically optimize the organization-wide level of competencies,education and ability to learn of the members of the organization as well as todevelop collective intelligence.“ (Maier 2002)”Planned and ongoing management of activities and processes for leveragingknowledge to enhance competitiveness through better use and creation ofindividual and collective knowledge resources.” (CEN 2004)
  12. 12. A first question…Why is Knowledge a Global Success Factor?
  13. 13. Just a simple product?
  14. 14. Business Process Management in a Networked Business Management ProcessingR&D A Marketing R&D Sales Marketing Processing Marketing Production B Sales IT Services Sales IT Services Marketing Material Flow Knowledge/ Information / Data Flow
  15. 15. Some random questions…Decision questions– Where to produce?– How to build partnerships (joint ventures, contractors, …)– Which systems to exchange knowledge?Operational questions– How to process wood?– When will the next shipment arrive?– How to market the product in Japan?– How to explain the concept and advantages of Finnish saunas?– How to find the main problems of customers?– Which are import and safety regulations?
  16. 16. This means…Knowledge is a key to global successGlobal KM managers need to understand the valuechain and knowledge requirementsGlobal KM managers need to understandknowledge processes and cultureGlobal KM managers are the main hubs for smoothoperations in production and service enterprisesWhich kind of IS support is promising or provensuccessful?
  17. 17. SummaryKnowledge as a critical success factorKnowledge management to support businessesGlobal aspects– Understanding the context– Process design– Systems and tool support– Cultural aspectsSocial Software as a promising tool to combinehuman- and technology-orientation– Which tools for which context?– How to overcome cultural differences?– How to embed tools?
  18. 18. Social Software?
  19. 19. Social Software “Social Software enables an interactive way of collaboration,managing content and connecting to online networks with otherpeople. It supports the desire of users to be pulled into groups in order to achieve their personal goals” (Wever, Mechant, Veevaete & Hauttekeete 2007)
  20. 20. Social Software 4 Cs of Social SoftwareCook, N. Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work, UK:Gover, 2008.
  21. 21. Intertwined terminologies!
  22. 22. Social Media
  23. 23. Groupware Message systems Multiuser editors Group decision support systems (GDSSs) Ellis, Gibbs & Rein 1991) Computer conferencing systems Shared information spaces Workflow management/coordination systems …Much older approach in the IS researchEllis C.A., Gibbs S.J. & Rein C.L. 1991. Groupware: Some issues and experiences. Communications of the ACM 34 (1), 39 – 58.
  24. 24. Collaboration toolsOnyechi & Abeisinghe 2009 Refs to Social Media, Social Software, Groupware, Web 2.0…
  25. 25. Web 2.0Often explained as thecombination of methods andtechniques on whichSocial Media is based onStill used in IT literacy
  26. 26. What do you focus on when addressing Social Software?
  27. 27. Research Trends for KM & SoSoConstructive / Design-oriented research– Tools to improve knowledge exchange and distributionDo we really understand how global KM works: QualitativeResearch– Understanding which influence factors and relations emerge in global settings– For example: Barriers to KM (why and how)Relating and quantifying: Quantitative Research– Understanding behavior in KM settings– E.g. ISSM, TAM, KM Success Model • What type of relations, how strong, cause-effect etc. • Applied for example in Social networking studies, also Web 2.0 focus
  28. 28. Barriers?Discussed from the viewpoint of an individual or group of peopleCan relate to social interaction and as an example to factors thathinder or challenge knowledge exchangeMight relate to challenges and risks when adopting or using aspecific technologyChallenges set by diverse workers, hierarchies and culturalinfluences within an organizationIn many cases tied to a specific contextCan be presented as a wider concept “cultural distance” …or as a question that is formed from the problem,“How to reward contribution?”…
  29. 29. Barriers + +Organizational Dependent on business Location, time, cultureand hierarchical process and project and language = “Knowledge Islands”
  30. 30. Success factors - barriers Critical Success Factors (CSF)The relation between a barrier and success factor not always clear …not always counter balanced in a way that overcoming a barrier means a success…not all success factors can be derived from barriers Barriers are a starting point to understand success factors within a specific context Geographical dispersion of individuals CSF “set meeting schedules and rules of engagement” “conduct periodic face-to-face meetings”
  31. 31. Context. Organization / Success Factors Individuals InstrumentsHolistic, integrated and standardized approach – KM integrated within culture, coordination, and leadership – Consider relationships and interdependencies – Avoid isolated solutions, e. g., different, incompatible communication systems, no standards, different knowledge processes, – Knowledge processes and ICT platforms for KM should be standardized throughout the organization and integrated with the existing business processes.Knowledge-oriented culture – Supportive organizational culture – Open and communicative atmosphere – Supporting a knowledge-oriented culture through e. g., communication of success stories and best practices, through the acceptance of errors a s well as promoting individual responsibilityManagement support – Top management to strategic knowledge goals, allocate sufficient budgets to the KM initiative – Providing good example for the change of behavior – A knowledge champion can act as a coordinator for management support as well as key speaker and motivator for the initiative.
  32. 32. Relation of concepts – GSKM(Global Social Knowledge Management) Pawlowski & Pirkkalainen 2012
  33. 33. Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2013
  34. 34. Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2013
  35. 35. Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2013
  36. 36. Technical barriersPirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2013
  37. 37. Cultural barriersPirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2013
  38. 38. Methodology to capture barriers Different approaches depending on the discipline and maturity of the field KM Observation, ethnographic approaches Relying on the rigor of the researcher The main authors often experts with long history in the field Experiences Documented best practices, policies Also combined approaches applying interviews and surveys within specific organizations Global factors Long traditions, identification turned to concrete context specific understanding Social Software Depending what is analyzed (adoption, influencing factors for sharing, usability etc.) Expert interviews, surveys, lab testing etc.Research trend II - Merging research orientations and disciplines
  39. 39. Research results – Part I Published in ECIS 2011 Studying influencing factors for Researchers’ sharing intentions in Social Networking sites. Focus on sharing research and educational information. Examined our suggested hypotheses in a quantitative analysis Model: Extending TAM towards knowledge sharing. Influence factors of: -reputation -anticipated mutual benefit -self-efficacy -enjoy helping -internal personal computing support -external computing support -management support Hypothesized based on existing literatureKalb, Hendrik; Pirkkalainen, Henri; Pawlowski, Jan; and Schoop, Eric, "SOCIAL NETWORKING SERVICES AS AFACILITATOR FOR SCIENTISTS’ SHARING ACTIVITIES" (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. Paper 267.
  40. 40. Fo lieSocial Networking Services for research and 40 education
  41. 41. Research results – Part I Survey: 54 eligible responses Data analysis was conducted using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach and the SmartPLS software. PLS is a structural equation modeling technique (SEM) – well fitting to confirmatory research Results: Expected reputation through sharing activities is an important predictor of the intention the perceived usefulness of an SNS influences the intention to share information To influence the usefulness in our context we found as antecedents the anticipated reciprocal relationships through knowledge sharing in the system, the perceived ease of use of the system and management support ….and Influence of enjoy helping on the intention to share educational resources in a SNS Not significant: internal and external support, we can not find support for the hypotheses H5a and H5b, which propose a positive influence of self-efficacy on sharing behavior.Kalb, Hendrik; Pirkkalainen, Henri; Pawlowski, Jan; and Schoop, Eric, "SOCIAL NETWORKING SERVICES AS AFACILITATOR FOR SCIENTISTS’ SHARING ACTIVITIES" (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. Paper 267.
  42. 42. Research results – Part IICurrently studiedStudying barrier significance for using OER portals.Contextualization of the previously presented barriers with OERfocusStep1: Literature researchStep2: Narrowing the focus and studying barriersStep3: Mapping identified barriers to KM activities and interventionsStep4: Studying changes over time. Deeper investigation onimplications and reasons behind
  43. 43. Example OER Social Software
  44. 44. Research results – Part IICurrently studiedCombining engagement activities (focus group) with the surveyinstrument.Running teacher workshops across Europe - Presenting OER portals for teachers, running a scenario, discussing SWOT, change enablers - Filling the survey on-site or online1176 eligible responses from 20 countriesExtending current OER research to Social Software (portal focus) tounderstand most significant challenges.Data analysis in progress… Variance analysis (One-way ANOVA)depicts the significance of barriers dependent on the nationality ofthe stakeholders.
  45. 45. Research results – Part IICurrently studiedExample difference between countries: availability of resources inown languageSignificant barrier: Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia…Not significant: Romania, Spain, Netherlands, Finland..
  46. 46. Social Software in Knowledge Management Individuals, process/culture, technology In many cases generalizing the purpose of Social Software/media unnecessarily E.g. “social media is essentially a social networking site, with subscribing” Support of Social Software for different levels of KM: Knowledge evolution, knowledge use/reuse, knowledge sharing/transferNot to replace but to support? Are we discussing a specific service or about the web in general?
  47. 47. Social Software in KMCollaborationAwarenessDocumentationCustomer engagementInteraction with stakeholders…
  48. 48. Research trends IIIAnalyzing the cultural, organizational, and individualcontextIdentifying barriers and potential success factorsChoosing and creating solutions (=interventions /methods)– Aligned with strategies and processes– Addressing barriers– Involving all stakeholders– Not overloading peopleUtilizing barrier-knowledge in KM processes
  49. 49. Social Software in KM activities and tasks Knowledge Management Tasks Not all tools are meant to support  creation, building, anticipation or generation all knowledge steps/tasks  acquisition, appropriation or adoption  identification, capture, articulation or extraction  collection, gathering or accumulationIdentifying  (legally) securing  conversion  organization, linking and embedding  formalizationCollection, modification, collaboration  storage  refinement or developmentAnnotation  distribution, diffusion, transfer or sharing  presentation or formatting  application, deploying or exploiting  review, revision or evolution ofSharing, awareness knowledge Source: (Maier, 2004)
  50. 50. From barriers to tools… Tool Purpose Key End user KM Activities & processes Main Barriers category Functionality Blogging tools Communication -Post writings -Active & passive exchange of Organizational, -Comment on professional information (Fiedler & Cultural, Social writings Welpe 2011). -Share writing -Acquire / capture / create, Organizational Apply/share/transfer. Incentive for (Zhang 2010), (external/internal) (Reuse/innovate/evolve/transform), Fitness to task -Evaluate writings alerting (Avram 2006) (Thom-Santelli -Extend with -Knowledge Evolution (Zheng & 2010) plugins / integrate Zheng 2010) Cognitive (Kim to other systems -Idea-generation and problem- 2008) -RSS (alerts) solving (Zhang 2010) -Externalization, combination (Chatti et al, 2007) -Creation, codification, sharing, collaboration, organization (Razmerita 2009) Micro- Connection / -Post micro -Retrieve knowledge for use Organizational, blogging tools awareness. writings (Zheng & Zheng 2010), Social -Comment / -Enhancing information sharing share / evaluate (easy to identify information Fitness to task micro writings updates), building common (Thom-Santelli -Share material / ground, sustaining connectedness 2010), Information via among colleagues, supporting Social (trust) micro writings informal communication (Zhao & (Zhao & Rosson -Manage profile Rosson 2009) 2009) (notifications -Alerting, informing users of (RSS), privacy) changes (Levy 2009; Avram 2006) -Follow other -Socialization, combination (Chatti users et al, 2007) -Send direct messagesPawlowski & Pirkkalainen 2012
  51. 51. From barriers to tools…Pawlowski & Pirkkalainen 2012
  52. 52. From barriers to tools…Pawlowski & Pirkkalainen 2012
  53. 53. From barriers to tools…Pawlowski & Pirkkalainen 2012
  54. 54. Social Software Supporting processesMaier & Remus (2003) Implementing process-oriented knowledge management strategies
  55. 55. KM activities & Barrier-knowledge instrumentsMaier & Remus (2003) Implementing process-oriented knowledge management strategies
  56. 56. Focus points for researchRanging from smaller to large research activitiesDistributed teams (local to global, small vs massive)– What type of challenges they face in their work– How could Social Software support / how should it be integrated to the working activities / how to ensure adoption / how could it bridge the gap to other communities or collaborators/competitors • For example analyzing where do the collaborators or relevant stakeholders interact (European projects one perfect example).– Setting clear Social Software policy that differentiates between internal/external work, customer relations etc.– …
  57. 57. Thank You
  58. 58. Contact InformationProf. Dr. Jan M. Pawlowskijan.pawlowski@jyu.fiSkype: jan_m_pawlowskiOffice: Room 514.2Telephone +358 14 260 2596 Pirkkalainenhenri.j.pirkkalainen@jyu.fiOffice: Room 511.1Telephone +358 400247684
  59. 59. ReadingsZheng, Y., Li, L., & Zheng, F. (2010). Social Media Support forKnowledge Management. In Proceedings of the InternationalConference on Management and Service Science, pp. 1-4. dpi:10.1109/ICMSS.2010.5576725 [IEEE Xplore at Nelli]Levy, M. (2009). WEB 2.0 implications on knowledgemanagement. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(1), 120-134. [Nelli e-journals]Pawlowski, J.M., Pirkkalainen, H. (2012): Global SocialKnowledge Management: The Future of KnowledgeManagement Across Borders? Proc. of European Conference onKnowledge Management, June 2012, Spain. Retrieved from: