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Do social networking applications support the antecedents of knowledge sharing practices?

Muhammad Naeem (University of Worcester, Worcester Business School, Worcester, UK)
Mohammad Javid Khan (Business School, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 11 November 2019

Issue publication date: 11 November 2019




Many organizations are struggling to achieve competitiveness due to lack of knowledge sharing (KS) practices. The sustainability of the service sector is linked to KS practices and creativity. Therefore, to survive in a dynamic business environment, universities have to formulate and implement such practices and innovative learning systems. This paper aims to highlight how social media networking apps can be used efficiently and effectively to support the antecedents of KS among the employees in public and private universities.


This study is based on a positivistic approach and a quantitative research design. A survey was carried out with employees at public and private universities. The respondents were chosen based on simple random sampling with the purpose of increasing the validity and generalizability of the results in the context of university settings and for other sectors as well.


Certain individual and organizational factors have been found, which have been supported by social networking tools. These factors can enhance KS practices, such as informal relationships and social networking, effective communication and collaboration, mutual trust and the intention to share knowledge, the KS culture and new ideas. The results of this study reveal that social networking applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Facebook, Research-gate, YouTube and personal blogs are more productive in supporting the antecedents of KS stated above in university settings.

Research limitations/implications

Social networking applications have received attention because executives and researchers are increasingly focusing on finding new ways to use social networking tools for business purposes. The effective and efficient use of social networking tools helps organizations to foster knowledge amongst employees to address various critical issues, such as knowledge hoarding, lower levels of skills and knowledge, lower levels of communication and employee involvement, a lack of the intention to share knowledge and resistance toward the adoption of new technology.


There is rare literature available on how social networking tools can support the antecedents of KS in university settings. Most of such literature has investigated the link between social media and KS using a systematic literature and qualitative research approach. This research is based on empirical study and it is unique as it investigates the hitherto under-researched issue of the adoption of social networking applications to foster the antecedents of KS in university settings.



Naeem, M. and Khan, M.J. (2019), "Do social networking applications support the antecedents of knowledge sharing practices?", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 494-509.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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