This paper is aimed at both researchers and organizations. For researchers, it seeks to provide a means for better analyzing the phenomenon of social media implementation in organizations as a knowledge management (KM) enabler. For organizations, it seeks to suggest a step-by-step architecture for practically implementing social media and benefiting from it in terms of KM.
The research is an empirical study. A hypothesis was set; empirical evidence was collected (from 34 organizations). The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively, thereby forming the basis for the proposed architecture.
Implementing social media in organizations is more than a yes/no question; findings show various levels of implementation in organizations: some implementing at all levels, while others implement only tools, functional components, or even only visibility.
Two main themes should be further tested: whether the suggested architecture actually yields faster/eased KM implementation compared to other techniques; and whether it can serve needs beyond the original scope (KM, Israel) as tested in this study (i.e. also for other regions and other needs – service, marketing and sales, etc.).
Organizations can use the suggested four levels architecture as a guideline for implementing social media as part of their KM efforts.
This paper is original and innovative. Previous studies describe the implementation of social media in terms of yes/no; this research explores the issue as a graded one, where organizations can and do implement social media step-by-step. The paper's value is twofold: it can serve as a foundational study for future researches, which can base their analysis on the suggested architecture of four levels of implementation. It also serves as applied research that will help organizations searching for social media implementation KM enablers.
Received 3 February 2013 Revised 22 April 2013 23 April 2013 Accepted 24 April 2013
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