The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management publishes original articles on topics relevant to studying, implementing, measuring and managing knowledge management and intellectual capital.

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Journal Article

Enterprise Social Networks for Knowledge Sharing: Lessons from a Medium‑Sized Company  pp15-28

Enrico Scarso, Ettore Bolisani

© Jan 2020 Volume 18 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, pp1 - 90

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The use of Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) as knowledge management tools has been widely investigated in case of big organizations, while there is little knowledge about advantages and possible implementation problems in small and medium‑sized enterprises. To fill this gap, the paper analyses the case of adoption and use of the Yammer platform by a medium‑sized Italian company. Yammer is an ESN service platform owned by Microsoft which includes several Web 2.0 features and whose interface resembles a typical public social network like Facebook. The research applied a quantitative approach: a questionnaire was submitted to all users of the ESN platform in the company between January and February 2017, with a response rate of 41%. The study contributes to the literature on social media as KM tools, by providing insights into the possible barriers that can undermine the success of ESN platforms as KM tools in the context of medium‑sized enterprises. Specifically, it highlights that two factors (intrinsically connected to the size of the company) are particularly crucial: the limited number of users, and a sort of naïve (“me‑too”) implementation strategy. An important lesson is that the success of ESNs in medium‑sized enterprise is influenced by personal (individual) and organizational factors, even more than technical ones. Especially, the need to reach a minimum critical mass of users can be a challenge. A limitation of the study is that it investigated only one company operating in a sector with specific knowledge needs and capabilities.


Keywords: Enterprise Social Networks; Yammer; Knowledge Management; Survey; SME; Italy


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Journal Issue

Volume 18 Issue 1 / Jan 2020  pp1‑90

Editor: Ettore Bolisani

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: Collaborative climate; Innovative climate; Knowledge donating; Knowledge collecting; MNCs; Creative performance, Enterprise Social Networks; Yammer; Knowledge Management; Survey; SME; Italy, intellectual capital disclosure, intellectual capital reporting, cost of capital, cost of debt, cost of equity, literature review; Internationalization, Social media, Twitter, Market knowledge, Indirect experiential knowledge


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