New article: Impact of information technology on knowledge creation

In the fall of 2012, I wrote about my experiences at the knowledgecamp, a barcamp for all those interested in knowledge management. The barcamp participants had a strong interest in the use of social media for knowledge management and several sessions were dedicated to the topic. In one of them, I presented some ideas of an ongoing research project.  It was about the impact of social media on knowledge creation. This project has now come to an end. Me and my co-authors, Gabriele Vollmar and Heinz-Theo Wagner, managed to get the results published in a special issue on social media in the Journal of Enterprise Information Management. Here is a short summary: 

“In this paper, we argue that social media and online communities may support knowledge creation by affording new types of behaviors that were not possible with previous forms of computer-mediated communication (boyd, 2010; Faraj et al., 2011; Treem & Leonardi, 2013). Among them are association, authoring, reviewability, editability, recombinability, and experimentation. We then investigate how these affordances interact with the knowledge conversions introduced by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995). They argue that in the process of knowledge creation, knowledge passes through different stages of conversion, namely socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization. We find that, in general, all stages of knowledge conversion can be reinforced by social media technologies, which contrasts with earlier findings by Nonaka and colleagues (1996). However, the different stages are each supported by specific affordances. We conclude that social media affordances shift the relevance and utility of technology use across the different stages of knowledge conversion.”


Wagner, D., Vollmar, G., & Wagner, H.-T. 2014. The impact of information technology on knowledge creation: An affordance approach to social media. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 27(1): 31–44. [Link]

Published by

David Wagner

Senior Strategy Consultant at diva-e Digital Value Excellence GmbH (diva-e); Visiting Faculty at German Graduate School of Management and Law (GGS); Head of Research at Association for Community Management (BVCM)

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