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Knowledge management goals revisited: A cross‐sectional analysis of social software adoption in corporate environments

Alexander Richter (Bundeswehr University Munich, Munich, Germany)
Alexander Stocker (Virtual Vehicle Research Center, Graz, Austria)
Sebastian Müller (Bundeswehr University Munich, Munich, Germany)
Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)

VINE

ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 10 May 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide both practice‐oriented researchers and practitioners with detailed insights into the social software goals and implementation strategies for corporate environments. Also, to illustrate the novelty and specificity of corporate social software (CSS) compared to other groupware or knowledge management systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is grounded in the ongoing discussion on differences and commonalities of knowledge management and Enterprise 2.0 applications and motivated by the lack of scientific studies on this topic. The authors have therefore made a comprehensive study of social software adoption in corporate environments, performing a cross‐case analysis of 23 enterprises. The study was meant to enable researchers and practitioners to acquire a better understanding and appropriate related explanations of the relatively new phenomenon of CSS appropriation and use.

Findings

From the cross‐case analysis, six main goals of CSS adoption were derived and compared with the goals of knowledge management projects and initiatives. While some of the goals set for the introduction of CSS seem to coincide with those resulting from knowledge management studies (e.g. establishing networks of experts), others appear to be novel and specific for CSS (e.g. improving employee‐to‐employee communication).

Originality/value

By investigating 23 different cases (most of these case studies being documented by the authors), this paper presents one of the most comprehensive cross‐case analyses systematically exploring pursued goals and implementation approaches adopted for CSS. The contribution of the study is relevant for both research and practice and it is aimed to contribute to the ongoing scientific debate on social software in knowledge management and information systems research.

Keywords

Citation

Richter, A., Stocker, A., Müller, S. and Avram, G. (2013), "Knowledge management goals revisited: A cross‐sectional analysis of social software adoption in corporate environments", VINE, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 132-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/03055721311329927

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited