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Whom to appease and whom to circumvent: analyzing knowledge sharing with social networks

Abraham Cyril Issac (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India)
Tina Susan Thomas (Department of Information Technology, KCG College of Technology, Chennai, India)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 22 July 2019



In an academic and research institution of repute, where the student researcher’s creative mind and innovative potentials are the kingpin factors, it is of primary interest to segregate and pool competencies at an individual level and to create dynamic synergetic effects. Knowledge about potential core competencies and own resources, facilitation of existing personal relationships and the development of new personal relations and cooperation are necessary prerequisites. This is where social network analysis (SNA) acts as a useful tool for measuring the performance of knowledge sharing.


The current study makes a detailed analysis of the knowledge sharing network among the student researchers. The research study estimates different parameters such as knowledge sharing in various departments, the motivation for research and research environment. This work mainly attempts to undertake a differential analysis of the knowledge sharing pattern among the research scholars with the aid of Pajek software and R programming.


A holistic knowledge sharing network for the entire set of research scholars is established and the centrality features of the network and among the departments are analyzed, leading to a road map which deliberates on whom to appease and whom to circumvent.

Research limitations/implications

Every institute or organization can use the SNA to identify the key stakeholders in the knowledge sharing environment or the kingpin actors who are prone to knowledge hiding. Such useful identification of the vital stakeholders can give information on how to eliminate the barriers in the knowledge management systems, so that enhanced level of collaboration happens.


This is the first comprehensive SNA to decipher the knowledge sharing pattern among researchers. This work characterizes knowledge management research literature and thereby offers to reduce redundant research by delineating the possible avenues in the area of knowledge sharing.



Issac, A.C. and Thomas, T.S. (2019), "Whom to appease and whom to circumvent: analyzing knowledge sharing with social networks", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 69 No. 1/2, pp. 75-93.



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