The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Article

Virtual Embeddedness and Social Media as a Basis for the Relational Capital Management of new Ventures  pp188-203

Eleni Magdalini Vasileiadou, Magdalena Missler-Behr

© Sep 2011 Volume 9 Issue 3, ECIC 2011, Editor: Geoff Turner and Clemente Minonne, pp181 - 295

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Abstract

New forms of data storage and transfer as well as new methods to communicate, collaborate and exchange knowledge at diminishing transaction costs over the world‑wide‑web have revolutionised networking, knowledge creation and innovation processes in the knowledge era. Virtual embeddedness signifies the possibility to draw upon pay‑per‑use computing resources and a variety of customised web services and applications. The facilitated utilisation of Software‑as‑a‑Service and in particular social media (SM) applications enables effective networking on platforms and in virtual communities in social as well as in business terms. Such networking processes lead to the accumulation of social, relational and intellectual capital, as they facilitate information and knowledge exchange, integration and creation. Since information and knowledge sharing, collaboration and socialising take virtual dimensions, opportunities and threats arise for enterprises regarding relational capital management (RCM) as well as knowledge and value creation. Most new ventures are keen on utilising SM for internal and external communication and collaboration purposes. In this context, the question of how new ventures can improve their RCM through the utilisation of innovative information and communication technologies (ICT) and SM arises. To answer this question, ventures have to grasp the potential of web technologies and SM and to assess their appropriability to achieve relationship‑specific goals. They need to be aware of SM risks in order to exploit chances and avert threats which arise through SM use. In this paper, the question of how to exploit the benefits of virtual embeddedness and Web 2.0 in order to optimise the RCM of new ventures is discussed. To provide a basis for this discussion, the qualities of social and relational capital and the different forms of physical and virtual embeddedness are analysed. The utilisation of SM for RCM purposes and the implementation of a SM strategy are exemplified in the case study of a German eCommerce venture that took advantage of web technologies to build up and manage its relational capital in virtual and physical dimensions. Finally, a conceptual model describing the contribution of virtual embeddedness and SM to knowledge, value and reputation creation is proposed and illustrated by means of the case study.

 

Keywords: social capital, relational capital, Web 2.0, social media, new ventures

 

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Journal Article

Trust Building in a virtual context: Case Study of a community of Practice  pp212-222

Cindy Eggs

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 3, ECIC 2012, Editor: John Dumay, pp208 - 278

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Abstract

The Research Management Unit of Swiss Distance University for Applied Sciences (Fernfachhochschule Schweiz … FFHS) has experienced trust building processes in virtual environment amongst others in their work with Community of Practice (CoP). The estab lishment of CoPs has become their core business, that means that they have have planned and implemented such kind of learning communities for international companies and for university groups. According to the author, CoPs are perceived as laboratory for creating intellectual capital for which trust building is a pre‑conditioned success factor. To identify trust building methods in a research environment in particular and in CoPs in general, using new technologies is the main aim in this paper. So, the br oad subject CoP and intellectual capitalŽ will be constricted and the focus put on trust. A special focus is put on the virtuality element which has become very important with the raise of social media platforms in the business world. Following questions will be addressed in the paper: How is trust defined in a virtual environment, especially among researchers? How can you build trust in a CoP? How can the community leader influence this trust building? What is the role of different group members? Which influence does a deep organizational trust have on the success of a community? To answer this question, foremost a theoretical analyses model for trust and its processes will be developed based on the three domains of intellectual capital which most auth ors have identified for the division of intellectual capital: human capital, structural capital and relationship capital. To cope with the technical dimension of virtuality, a new approach to the intellectual capital domains is elaborated. In the first pl ace, at the level of human capital, the author describes personal characteristics and competencies (knowledge management skills) which enable trust building. Secondly, the level of structural capital focuses on technical aspect of the community and acti vities which foster trust building. Last but not least, the relationship level studies the trust building process linked to different roles and a new collaborative culture. As a case study for this paper, serves the community of researchers at the FFHS wh ich collaborate through a virtual platform called eDolphin. The researchers, working for a future‑oriented institution and eUniversity, come from different disciplines and promote an eLearning and eCollaboration approach in team activities and project man agement. The findings of the theoretical approach lead to its adaptation to the practical example of eDolphin. How was trust build in this case? What are the lessons learned which we identified during this community building process. Last but not least, some theories and findings concerning community building on social media platforms are described.

 

Keywords: eCollaboration, Social Media, Communities of Practice, intellectual capital, trust building, new collaborative culture.

 

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Journal Article

New Insights for Relational Capital  pp167-182

Kaisa Still, Jukka Huhtamäki, Martha G. Russell

© Jun 2015 Volume 13 Issue 1, Following ECKM and ICICKM 2014, Editor: Meliha Handzic and John Dumay, pp155 - 254

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Abstract

Abstract: In this paper, we concentrate on relational capital, manifestation of the old adage ⠀it is not what you know but who you know⠀. We propose that in this networked world, the importance of relationships between multiple stakeholders created by key personnel and financing becomes fundamental, and hence understanding and measuring those becomes fundamental, too. Accordingly, we highlight that there is a need to go beyond social, individual or personal relationships and organizational context, as well as beyond the limitations of the dyadic (one actor to one actor) view on relationships. Hence, we are introducing the ecosystem as the context for measuring relational capital. This paper builds on a construct of ecosystemic relational capital, cr eated for understanding and measuring the importance of relationships in the context of ecosystems. It looks at the totality of relationships both at organizational level and at individual level, measuring the structures and characteristics related to ind ividuals, organizations as well as the ecosystem as a whole (Still et al. 2014a). We acknowledge that the initial framework emphasizes the ⠜networking capabilities⠀ element of relational capital, with less attention to the element of ⠜customer loy alty and reputation⠀, which is the motivation for building on the construct. The processes of ecosystemic relational capital are already seen to be built on the possibilities afforded by the volumes of digital data, mostly from social media, providing d etails on the relationships between various actors related to various regions, sectors, technologies and products. However, we propose enhancing the holistic integration for better understanding and measuring of relational capital with the application of methods of social network analysis (SNA), network visualizations and social media analytics. In this paper, we present concrete examples of the enhanced framework. At the same time, we acknowledge that there are many other avenues for obtaining novel in sights for relational capital with these analytics

 

Keywords: innovation ecosystems, relational capital, social capital, visual ecosystem analytics, social network analysis, social media analytics, innovation indicators

 

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Journal Article

Exploring the role of social media in knowledge sharing  pp185-197

Zoltán Gaál, Lajos Szabó, Nóra Obermayer-Kovács, Anikó Csepregi

© Jan 2015 Volume 13 Issue 3, ECIC special conference issue, Editor: Dr. Juan-Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro and Dr. David Cegarra-Leiva, pp171 - 253

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Abstract

Abstract: Social media is no longer a negligible phenomenon; tools like Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube have taken the world in a storm. Social media has become a mainstream, modified personal relationships, allowed individuals to contribute to number of is sues and generated new possibilities and challenges to facilitate collaboration. Organizations have urgent need of not only focusing on innovation of new products and services, but also paying specific attention to effective knowledge sharing, which is of vital importance for their success. The potential advantage of embracing and implementing social media is enormous. Although the interest in social media is increasing, on the one hand knowledge workers and managers are waiting to get involved in this co llaborative world, because they may not feel motivated or may not be aware of the advantages of using these tools for work purposes. On the other hand, organizations do not tend to allow their employees to use social media technologies because they may be concerned about the risks and consequences of a potential misuse. Our exploratory survey investigates how internal or external social media technologies are being used for knowledge sharing during work or for professional development. The study was accom plished with the help of enterprises and institutions operating in Hungary from profit and non‑profit sectors, applying quantitative research methods. In total 299 individuals participated by completing the online, web‑based questionnaire. The results hav e shown that Hungarian organizations prefer not to allow the usage of external social media; but where the employees are supported to reach these tools, high proportion of the people utilize them. The paper provides recommendations to the organizations ho w to foster motivating employees for using social media technologies for work purposes in knowledge sharing. In the discussion, a short summary of our study, managerial implications and new research direction are presented.

 

Keywords: Keywords: Knowledge sharing, social media technologies, Hungarian research, exploratory survey, business

 

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Journal Article

Are Small Businesses Really Able to Take Advantage of Social Media?  pp257-268

Francesca Maria Cesaroni, Domenico Consoli

© Dec 2015 Volume 13 Issue 4, ECSM 2015, Editor: Anabela Mesquita, pp255 - 292

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Abstract

Abstract: In recent years the adoption of ICT by small enterprises has been growing thanks to prices reduction, diffusion of digital services in SaaS modality, cloud computing and ICT consumerization. However little is known about how small enterprises us e these technologies and in particular social media. Social media open up a new way of doing business, based on innovative concepts such as sharing, collaboration and co‑creation. However, this is a little‑known model, with still unknown implications on m anagement and organization. For this reason it is not enough to know how much small enterprises use social media, but it is necessary to understand how small enterprises use them. The aim of the paper is to understand if small enterprises are able to full y exploit social media potentialities. To this end a sample of 48 Italian small firms is analyzed. Data has been collected by websites analysis, a questionnaire survey and interviews with entrepreneurs and/or ICT/Marketing managers. Results show that, al though social media are quite common among small businesses, they are not always able to use these tools in a truly profitable way. Social media are often introduced because they are "fashionable", because companies feel "forced" to use them, as "all comp etitors do it". The research, however, has highlighted the existence of a wide range of different situations. Together with low innovative businesses, in fact, there are also other small businesses that are very open to the use of social channels and inte ractive technologies and able to take full advantage of their adoption. Entrepreneurs mentality makes a difference in these companies, and in particular entrepreneurs ability to conceive new ways of doing business and his willingness to get involved wit h new initiatives.

 

Keywords: Keywords: social media, web 2.0, enterprise 2.0, web-oriented technology, micro and small enterprises, innovative technologies.

 

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