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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2019

Muhammad Naeem

Leaders, consultants and researchers are increasingly focused on enhancing the adoption of social networking tools to increase knowledge sharing practices and the success…

Abstract

Purpose

Leaders, consultants and researchers are increasingly focused on enhancing the adoption of social networking tools to increase knowledge sharing practices and the success rate of organizations. This study was conducted to explore the adoption of social networking applications in public and private sector universities. This paper aims to discover how social networking applications can foster knowledge sharing practices among employees of universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an interpretivist, qualitative research design using grounded theory. Fifty-two semi-structured and non-directive interviews were undertaken with employees of public and private sector universities. Participants were selected using purposive sampling, and thematic analysis was performed using the NVivo 11-Plus.

Findings

The study highlights how social media networking applications can be used effectively and efficiently to foster knowledge sharing practices in the workplace. Five emerging themes are identified as follows. Social media networking tools can enhance new knowledge, increase employee skills, promote a knowledge sharing culture, foster effective communication and increase employee involvement in research activities.

Research limitations/implications

Social networking applications have received attention because executives and researchers are increasingly focused on finding new ways to use social networking tools in business. The effective and efficient use of social networking tools helps organizations to foster knowledge amongst employees, and can address various critical issues such as knowledge hoarding, lowers levels of skills and knowledge, poor communication and employee involvement, the lack of desire to share knowledge, and resistance toward technology.

Originality/value

A brief systematic literature review on social media and knowledge sharing highlights that only 11 per cent of studies found that examined the link between social media and knowledge sharing practices across the world. The study therefore represents an effort to shed new light on the adoption of social networking tools in the context of knowledge sharing among universities employees. Social media applications have become popular across the world, and the speed of their uptake is evolving rapidly. However, their contribution toward organizational change is not yet known.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 49 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Leila June Rod‐Welch

This study aims to evaluate 125 research libraries in North America to identify whether they incorporate reference and social networking tools in their library's website.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to evaluate 125 research libraries in North America to identify whether they incorporate reference and social networking tools in their library's website.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of 125 library websites is conducted to determine whether libraries who are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) incorporate and promote reference and social networking tools in their website. For the purpose of this study, a list of reference and social networking tools was chosen and each library's website was visited to determine first, which reference and social networking tools from this list appear on their library's homepage and, second, which tools appear elsewhere on the library's website.

Findings

The results show that even though most of these reference and social networking tools are incorporated into their library's websites, their presence is lower on their library's homepage.

Practical implications

Academic and research libraries should incorporate reference and social networking tools on their library's homepage to make these services more visible and more easily accessible to their users.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates the importance of the right placement for reference and social networking tools on ARL websites.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Ali Al-Aufi and Crystal Fulton

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which social networking tools had an impact on academics’ patterns of informal scholarly communication in humanities and social

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which social networking tools had an impact on academics’ patterns of informal scholarly communication in humanities and social science disciplines. Social networking tools, reinforced by proliferation and advances in portable computing and wireless technologies, have reshaped how information is produced, communicated and consumed.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-institutional quantitative study utilized an online questionnaire survey sent to 382 academics affiliated with humanities and social science disciplines in two different academic institutions: one that belongs to a Western tradition of scholarly communication in Ireland, and the other to a developing country in Oman. Descriptive interpretation of data compared findings from both universities. Frequencies, percentages and means were displayed in tables to enhance the meaning of collected data. Inferential analysis was also conducted to determine statistical significance.

Findings

Overall findings indicate progressive use of social networking tools for informal scholarly communication. There is perceived usefulness on the impact of social networking tools on patterns of informal scholarly communication. However, nearly one-third of the respondents have never used social networking tools for informal scholarly communication. Institution-based data comparison revealed no significant differences on data except for few activities of informal scholarly communication.

Research limitations/implications

Given that the number of study subjects was eventually small (total = 382) and that academics by their very nature are disinclined to respond to online surveys, results of the study may suggest non-response errors, and these may impact negatively on the acceptability of inferences and statistical conclusions. The results of the study are, therefore, unlikely to be useful for generalization, but they remain suggestive of a growing tendency among humanities and social sciences’ academics to use social networking tools for informal scholarly communication.

Originality/value

Empirical findings provide a broad understanding about the potential of social networking tools on informal scholarly communication in areas of humanities and social sciences disciplines. Multi-disciplinary investigation and qualitative studies may further deepen our understanding of the impact of social networking tools on patterns of scholarly communication.

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Carol Xiaojuan Ou, Choon Ling Sia and Chun Kit Hui

Advances in information technology (IT) have resulted in the development of various computer‐mediated communication (CMC) and social networking tools. However, quantifying…

Abstract

Purpose

Advances in information technology (IT) have resulted in the development of various computer‐mediated communication (CMC) and social networking tools. However, quantifying the benefits of utilizing these tools in the organizational context remains a challenge. In this study, the authors aim to investigate the effects of three specific tools, viz. instant messenger, email and knowledge forum, on facilitating the communication and social network at work, and their subsequent influence on individuals’ work performance. Together with a social network diagram, the proposed model is validated by a survey of 59 employees of a company which embeds these three CMC and social networking tools in the work process. The key findings, implications and future research are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors verify the research model with data from the Hong Kong office of an international bank headquartered in London, UK. They also collected the data on the social networks of 59 employees to draw a network diagram of the respondents using the social network analysis software UCINET.

Findings

The research model is fully supported by the survey data. Meanwhile, the social networks analysis also suggests the linkage of using IM at work and the high level of degree and high level of closeness.

Originality/value

This study provided an empirical verification of media performance theories, evidenced by interactive tools such as IM and email. This research also directly linked the elements of social network, viz. degree, closeness and betweenness, with the CMC and social network tools, the communication, interactivity, relationship, and work performance.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Chih-Ming Chen and Chung Chang

With the rapid development of digital humanities, some digital humanities platforms have been successfully developed to support digital humanities research for humanists…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid development of digital humanities, some digital humanities platforms have been successfully developed to support digital humanities research for humanists. However, most of them have still not provided a friendly digital reading environment and practicable social network analysis tool to support humanists on interpreting texts and exploring characters’ social network relationships. Moreover, the advancement of digitization technologies for the retrieval and use of Chinese ancient books is arising an unprecedented challenge and opportunity. For these reasons, this paper aims to present a Chinese ancient books digital humanities research platform (CABDHRP) to support historical China studies. In addition to providing digital archives, digital reading, basic search and advanced search functions for Chinese ancient books, this platform still provides two novel functions that can more effectively support digital humanities research, including an automatic text annotation system (ATAS) for interpreting texts and a character social network relationship map tool (CSNRMT) for exploring characters’ social network relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted DSpace, an open-source institutional repository system, to serve as a digital archives system for archiving scanned images, metadata, and full texts to develop the CABDHRP for supporting digital humanities (DH) research. Moreover, the ATAS developed in the CABDHRP used the Node.js framework to implement the system’s front- and back-end services, as well as application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by different databases, such as China Biographical Database (CBDB) and TGAZ, used to retrieve the useful linked data (LD) sources for interpreting ancient texts. Also, Neo4j which is an open-source graph database management system was used to implement the CSNRMT of the CABDHRP. Finally, JavaScript and jQuery were applied to develop a monitoring program embedded in the CABDHRP to record the use processes from humanists based on xAPI (experience API). To understand the research participants’ perception when interpreting the historical texts and characters’ social network relationships with the support of ATAS and CSNRMT, semi-structured interviews with 21 research participants were conducted.

Findings

An ATAS embedded in the reading interface of CABDHRP can collect resources from different databases through LD for automatically annotating ancient texts to support digital humanities research. It allows the humanists to refer to resources from diverse databases when interpreting ancient texts, as well as provides a friendly text annotation reader for humanists to interpret ancient text through reading. Additionally, the CSNRMT provided by the CABDHRP can semi-automatically identify characters’ names based on Chinese word segmentation technology and humanists’ support to confirm and analyze characters’ social network relationships from Chinese ancient books based on visualizing characters’ social networks as a knowledge graph. The CABDHRP not only can stimulate humanists to explore new viewpoints in a humanistic research, but also can promote the public to emerge the learning interest and awareness of Chinese ancient books.

Originality/value

This study proposed a novel CABDHRP that provides the advanced features, including the automatic word segmentation of Chinese text, automatic Chinese text annotation, semi-automatic character social network analysis and user behavior analysis, that are different from other existed digital humanities platforms. Currently, there is no this kind of digital humanities platform developed for humanists to support digital humanities research.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Chih-Ming Chen, Chung Chang and Yung-Ting Chen

Digital humanities aim to use a digital-based revolutionary new way to carry out enhanced forms of humanities research more effectively and efficiently. This study…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital humanities aim to use a digital-based revolutionary new way to carry out enhanced forms of humanities research more effectively and efficiently. This study develops a character social network relationship map tool (CSNRMT) that can semi-automatically assist digital humanists through human-computer interaction to more efficiently and accurately explore the character social network relationships from Chinese ancient texts for useful research findings.

Design/methodology/approach

With a counterbalanced design, semi-structured in-depth interview, and lag sequential analysis, a total of 21 research subjects participated in an experiment to examine the system effectiveness and technology acceptance of adopting the ancient book digital humanities research platform with and without the CSNRMT to interpret the characters and character social network relationships.

Findings

The experimental results reveal that the experimental group with the CSNRMT support appears higher system effectiveness on the interpretation of characters and character social network relationships than the control group without the CSNRMT, but does not achieve a statistically significant difference. Encouragingly, the experimental group with the CSNRMT support presents remarkably higher technology acceptance than the control group without the CSNRMT. Furthermore, use behaviors analyzed by lag sequential analysis reveal that the CSNRMT could assist digital humanists in the interpretation of character social network relationships. The results of the interview present positive opinions on the integration of system interface, smoothness of operation, and external search function.

Research limitations/implications

Currently, the system effectiveness of exploring the character social network relationships from texts for useful research findings by using the CSNRMT developed in this study will be significantly affected by the accuracy of recognizing character names and character social network relationships from Chinese ancient texts. The developed CSNRMT will be more practical when the offered information about character names and character social network relationships is more accurate and broad.

Practical implications

This study develops an ancient book digital humanities research platform with an emerging CSNRMT that provides an easy-to-use real-time interaction interface to semi-automatically support digital humanists to perform digital humanities research with the need of exploring character social network relationships.

Originality/value

At present, a real-time social network analysis tool to provide a friendly interaction interface and effectively assist digital humanists in the digital humanities research with character social networks analysis is still lacked. This study thus presents the CSNRMT that can semi-automatically identify character names from Chinese ancient texts and provide an easy-to-use real-time interaction interface for supporting digital humanities research so that digital humanists could more efficiently and accurately establish character social network relationships from the analyzed texts to explore complicated character social networks relationship and find out useful research findings.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Derek L. Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate novel techniques for exploring relationship data extracted from social media sites for actionable insights by educators

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate novel techniques for exploring relationship data extracted from social media sites for actionable insights by educators, researchers, and administrators.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper demonstrates how non‐programmers can use NodeXL, an open source social network analysis tool built into Excel 2007/2010, to collect, analyze, and visualize network data from social media sites like Twitter and YouTube.

Findings

Researchers and education professionals can use NodeXL to explore (a) social networks to identify important individuals and subgroups, as well as (b) content networks to map the underlying structure of a domain and find important content. Illustrative examples are provided using NodeXL to examine followers of a Twitter user focused on open education, as well as a content network of YouTube videos about surgery.

Research limitations/implications

Tools like NodeXL are making network analysis accessible to non‐technical researchers in a variety of fields spanning the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Despite their value, network analysis techniques are only as good as the data that underlie them, requiring careful assessment of possible selection biases and triangulation of findings.

Practical implications

Educational institutions and educators can benefit from more systematically analyzing their social media initiatives from a network perspective.

Originality/value

This paper describes some of the techniques and tools needed to make sense of the social relationships that underlie social media sites. As relational data are increasingly made public, such techniques will enable more systematic analysis by researchers studying social phenomena and practitioners implementing social media initiatives.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Malik Faisal Azeem and Robina Yasmin

The purpose of this paper is to identify the possible gaps in use of Web 2.0 tools and human resource (HR) functional performance, and to identify the potential areas of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the possible gaps in use of Web 2.0 tools and human resource (HR) functional performance, and to identify the potential areas of future research for the upcoming researcher and industry practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

By having a thorough literature review on the said Web 2.0 and HR functions’ concepts, the study develops a conceptual model with seven propositions that assist in answering two major research questions, i.e., whether Web 2.0 tools can benefit the four major functions of human resource management (HRM), and to what extent Web 2.0 tools help HR Managers to reap maximum (efficiently and effectively) out of four major functions of HRM. By identifying the possible gaps in use of Web 2.0 tools and HR functional performance, the study identifies potential areas of future research for the upcoming researcher and industry practitioners.

Findings

HR 2.0 regime (right alignment of Web 2.0 tools and HR functions) will allow both the ends (employee and employer) to drive the organization toward sustainable, long-term business success. Excellence in HR functions following the HR 2.0 concept, can lead the organizations get best desired HR and business outcomes across sectors and industries. Though using Web 2.0 tools in HR functions can encounter various challenges as management of bulky information, time wastage, personal conflicts, threats of losing information confidentiality, etc., but these potential threats can be made less risky by transforming organization culture.

Research limitations/implications

As the scope of the study was limited to the use of Web 2.0 tools in HR practices, the study provided a generic view of the use of Web 2.0 tools in HR domain. Thus the findings should be used only in HR domain in a variety of contexts.

Practical implications

The current study adds value to in the exploration of the link between Web 2.0 and HRM in a systematic way because of the fact that Web 2.0 tools as drivers or facilitating tools can play a vital role in execution of HR practices and processes in a secure, effective and efficient manner. The current study also paves the way for the HR practitioners and researcher to extract manifold benefits from the use of Web 2.0 tools in all of its functions with the right understanding. Critical role of HR can be favorably facilitated by Web 2.0 in favor of both, i.e., employees and the employers which could ultimately enable them to create a competitive edge in the market place. The organizations in general (whether private or public, manufacturing or public, small and medium enterprises or MNEs) can extract the real benefits from the right use of Web 2.0 while performing any of their HR function. Enhanced decision making may also be gained using the right mix of Web 2.0 tools and HR practices in any organization. The study also provides a track to the researchers to excavate more associations among the said constructs and to test these relationships in different industries so that maximum HR challenges may be addressed related to the employee and the HR process.

Social implications

Social implications of the current study can be derived as the main focus is HR practices which are executed by the employees, who if are positively addressed, may gain economic and social up gradations. As for the employers use of Web 2.0 tools in their HR functions not only will bring economic prosperity for themselves but for the employees and the society.

Originality/value

Conceptual analysis of links between the use of Web 2.0 tools and HR functions to draw the attention of HR practitioners to benefit both employers and employees. Though the use of Web 2.0 is being popular in various other business areas but not for internal employees regarding HR functions. Paper provides the conceptual link of Web 2.0 applications, i.e., blogs, wikis, folksonomies, RSS, podcasts and online social networks with human resource functions.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Godfrey Maleko Munguatosha, Paul Birevu Muyinda and Jude Thaddeus Lubega

The purpose of this paper is to establish a model for adopting social networked learning in higher institutions of learning in developing countries of Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish a model for adopting social networked learning in higher institutions of learning in developing countries of Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods research methodology involving survey and interviews was adopted in the collection of data for building the model. The model was theoretically underpinned by the Technology Acceptance Model and the social constructivist learning theory, and was built and validated using structural equation modelling and Delphi techniques respectively.

Findings

Adoption of social networked learning in developing countries of Africa requires self efficacy, reliable technical and administrative support, infrastructure, system interactivity, adequate budgeting and accountability, and a flexible organisational culture.

Practical implications

The model provides a framework for integrating social software tools with the traditional learning systems of developing countries of Africa. This has a positive outcome of providing social constructivist information and communication technology (ICT) supported learning at low or no cost.

Social implications

The model has the potential to encourage formation of communities of practice to encourage development of social learning and a student‐centered pedagogy.

Originality/value

The novelty of this research lies in the extension of the traditional technology acceptance models with constructs for proper budgeting and accountability and organisational culture. Time and other resources need to be devoted to developing social networked learning and the model takes this into account.

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2010

Carol X.J. Ou, Robert M. Davison, Xuepan Zhong and Yi Liang

This paper aims to develop a research model that explains how instant messaging (IM) technologies enable employees to be empowered.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a research model that explains how instant messaging (IM) technologies enable employees to be empowered.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses survey of 253 Chinese work professionals with respect to their use of IM tools at work.

Findings

IM does empower work teams via shaping the social networks and facilitating knowledge sharing in the workplace, resulting in heightened team performance.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was conducted in China so generalization to other national contexts is tentative. It focuses on the bright side of IM, but neglects the dark side, e.g. security concerns and work interruptions.

Practical implications

IM is not only a social tool, it also has the potential to contribute to work teams. However, IM cannot achieve better work performance alone. Its contribution to strengthen the social networks at work is also critical. These social networks at work can enable employees to overcome psychological barriers to knowledge sharing.

Originality/value

Studies of IM in the workplace have not previously considered social network perspectives, nor the value of such IM‐facilitated social networks for work performance. This large scale survey of work professionals across four locations in China provides evidence for the considerable positive impacts of IM on work.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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