Using enterprise social networks as a knowledge management tool in higher education

Niall Corcoran, Aidan Duane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Higher education institutions (HEIs) are knowledge intensive environments by nature. However, the management of organizational knowledge and the promotion of staffknowledge sharing is largely neglected, with low levels of knowledge management (KM) implementation in these organizations. It would seem logical that KM would be a core business strategy of any HEI through which they could recognise, manage and use their knowledge assets, given that a lack of KM implementation and knowledge sharing has significant negative impacts on the intellectual capital and organizational performance of HEIs. A number of reasons have been cited for the lack of organizational knowledge sharing in HEIs, such as cultural and structural arrangements that are contextually unique to these organizations. To improve the current knowledge sharing and KM levels in HEIs, the use of enterprise social networks (ESN) is seen to have some promise, particularly when they are used to underpin a KM technique known as communities of practice (CoP), by facilitating the creation of virtual communities. The objective of this study is to examine how ESN can enable staffknowledge sharing in virtual CoP (vCoP) in HEIs. The research is framed as an Action Research study and examines the relationship between knowledge sharing, ESN and vCoP by investigating the antecedents for staffknowledge sharing, the dominant problems associated with ESN implementation and vCoP participation, the key motivators for staffto adopt the use of ESN and participate in vCoP, and the perceived benefits of knowledge sharing for both the organisation and for staffmembers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2016
EditorsBrendan Galbraith, Sandra Moffett, Brendan Galbraith
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781911218029
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM
ISSN (Print)2048-8963
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8971


  • Communities of practice
  • Enterprise social networks
  • Higher education
  • Knowledge management


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