The Potential of Enterprise Social Software in Integrating Exploitative and Explorative Knowledge Strategies

The Potential of Enterprise Social Software in Integrating Exploitative and Explorative Knowledge Strategies

Dimitris Bibikas (South East European Research Centre, Greece), Iraklis Paraskakis (South East European Research Center, Greece), Alexandros G. Psychogios (CITY College, Greece) and Ana C. Vasconcelos (The University of Sheffield Regent Court, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-208-4.ch020
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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to investigate the potential role of social software inside business settings in integrating knowledge exploitation and knowledge exploration strategies. These strategies are approached through the lens of dynamic capabilities, organisational learning and knowledge lifecycle models. The authors argue that while current enterprise Information Technology (IT) systems focus more on knowledge lifecycle processes concerning the distribution and application of knowledge, enterprise social software can support knowledge exploration strategies and leverage knowledge creation and validation procedures. We present secondary data from the utilisation of enterprise social computing tools inside two companies for that matter. The first case illustrates how social computing tools were deployed in an international bank, and the other presents the employment of these technologies in an international broadcasting company. The authors suggest that free-form and pre-defined structures can co-exist in bounded organisational environments, in which knowledge exploitation and knowledge exploration strategies can harmonically interact. This chapter concludes with some managerial implications and future research avenues.
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Introduction

During the last decade, industry and scholarly communities have equally highlighted the importance of managing organisational knowledge and posited that intangible assets form a critical enterprise resource asset (Metaxiotis et al., 2005; Davenport and Prusak, 1998). Knowledge management has been previously associated with the exploitation and growth of the organisational knowledge assets (Davenport and Prusak, 1998) aiming at increased operational efficiency and continuous time-to-market improvement. Yet, recent developments associate knowledge strategies with the ability of the organisation to explore and identify critical changes of the external operating environment, ultimately renewing its internal knowledge base and core competencies (Bhatt et al., 2005). Hence, the mere existence of strong organisational resources and capabilities appear to be inadequate for obtaining long-term sustainable competitive advantage.

The term “Enterprise 2.0” promptly followed the widespread of the so-called “Web 2.0” and dominated the discourse surrounding the utilisation of business concepts in relation not only to enterprise information applications, but also to associated managerial approaches related to our post-industrial age (Bughin, 2008; Hamel, 2007). The use of the decimal point in the term implies a proposed discontinuity from previous forms of organisational contextures, emphasising on a suggested transformative role of social computing inside companies (e.g. wikis, blogs, podcasts, RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Instant Messaging, social bookmarking, etc) (McAfee, 2006). Now, there is a heated debate between sceptics who argue that the term “Enterprise 2.0” has nothing to offer other than basic managerial selections regarding the utilisation of generic networked business applications (Stenmark, 2008), while supporters claim that the term conveys something new: a flexible and adaptable perspective to organisational knowledge strategies (Bibikas et al., 2008; Ip & Wagner, 2008; Kosonen & Kianto, 2008; Marfleet, 2008; Patrick & Dotsika, 2007; Coakes, 2006; McAfee, 2006) and a key driver towards the development of dynamic capabilities (Shuen, 2008). Has Enterprise 2.0 some actual meaning or the term should just be approached metaphorically? In this paper, we explore whether Enterprise 2.0 can provide strategic business value affecting key knowledge processes and adaptive capabilities of organizations.

The remaining of this chapter is structured in five parts: The first presents the research approach and study methodology. The next section explores knowledge exploitation and knowledge exploration strategies through the lens of dynamic capabilities theory. The third part presents some of the main characteristics of Enterprise 2.0 and investigates the potential of social software in the future of organisational information and knowledge management systems. We argue that these technologies can help towards the integration of exploitation and exploration knowledge strategies. The fourth session presents secondary data from the utilisation of enterprise social computing tools inside two multinational companies. Finally, suggestions and managerial implications are presented along with future research directions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organisational Capabilities/Core Competences: Critical knowledge assets that form the basis for products and services offered by the firm.

Knowledge Exploration: Knowledge exploitation can be viewed as the employment of organisational learning activities involving the employment of resources the firm already holds on its possession.

Knowledge Exploitation: Knowledge exploitation strategies consist of organisational learning practices for the optimisation of existing processes and the improvement of pre-existing knowledge assets.

Enterprise Social Software/Enterprise 2.0: The use of social computing tools in organisational settings.

Dynamic Capabilities: It is the firm’s ability not only to exploit its existing resources and organisational capabilities, but also its ability to renew and develop its organisational capabilities.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Jennifer Preece
Acknowledgment
Stylianos Hatzipanagos, Steven Warburton
Chapter 1
Jon Dron, Terry Anderson
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Chapter 2
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Chapter 3
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Cyber-Identities and Social Life in Cyberspace
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Chapter 4
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Weblogs are a popular form of Social Software, supporting personal Web authoring as well as innovative forms of social interaction via internet. The... Sample PDF
Weblogs in Higher Education
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Chapter 5
Mark Bilandzic, Marcus Foth
Web services such as wikis, blogs, podcasting, file sharing and social networking are frequently referred to by the term Web 2.0. The innovation of... Sample PDF
Social Navigation and Local Folksonomies: Technical and Design Considerations for a Mobile Information System
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Chapter 6
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Social Cognitive Ontology and User Driven Healthcare
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Chapter 7
Jillianne R. Code, Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk
Central to research in social psychology is the means in which communities form, attract new members, and develop over time. Research has found that... Sample PDF
Social Identities, Group Formation, and the Analysis of Online Communities
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Chapter 8
Jillianne R. Code, Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk
Social and group interactions in online and virtual communities develop and evolve from expressions of human agency. The exploration of the... Sample PDF
The Emergence of Agency in Online Social Networks
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Chapter 9
A. Malizia, A. De Angeli, S. Levialdi, I. Aedo Cuevas
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Exploiting Collaborative Tagging Systems to Unveil the User-Experience of Web Contents: An Operative Proposal
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Chapter 10
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The Roles of Social Networks and Communities in Open Education Programs
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Chapter 11
Sebastian Fiedler, Kai Pata
This chapter discusses how the construction of an adequate design and intervention framework for distributed learning environments might be... Sample PDF
Distributed Learning Environments and Social Software: In Search for a Framework of Design
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Chapter 12
Yoni Ryan, Robert Fitzgerald
This chapter considers the potential of social software to support learning in higher education. It outlines a current project funded by the then... Sample PDF
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Chapter 13
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Identifying New Virtual Competencies for the Digital Age: Essential Tools for Entry Level Workers
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Chapter 14
Jerald Hughes, Scott Robinson
This chapter examines interaction-oriented virtual religious communities online in the light of sociological theory of religious communities. The... Sample PDF
Social Structures of Online Religious Communities
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Chapter 15
Helen Keegan, Bernard Lisewski
This chapter explores emergent behaviours in the use of social software across multiple online communities of practice where informal learning... Sample PDF
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Chapter 16
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Chapter 17
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This chapter examines blogging as a social networking tool to engage final year preservice teachers in reflective processes. Using a developed Web... Sample PDF
Blogs as a Social Networking Tool to Build Community
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Chapter 18
Jennifer Ann Linder-VanBerschot
The objective of this chapter is to introduce a model that outlines the evolution of knowledge and sustainable innovation of community through the... Sample PDF
A Model for Knowledge and Innovation in Online Education
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Chapter 19
Petros Lameras, Iraklis Paraskakis, Philipa Levy
This chapter focuses on discussing the use of social software from a social constructivist perspective. In particular, the chapter explains how... Sample PDF
Using Social Software for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
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Chapter 20
Dimitris Bibikas, Iraklis Paraskakis, Alexandros G. Psychogios, Ana C. Vasconcelos
The aim of this chapter is to investigate the potential role of social software inside business settings in integrating knowledge exploitation and... Sample PDF
The Potential of Enterprise Social Software in Integrating Exploitative and Explorative Knowledge Strategies
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Chapter 21
M. C. Pettenati, M. E. Cigognini, E. M.C. Guerin, G. R. Mangione
In this chapter the authors identify the Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) pre-dispositions, skills and competences of the current effective... Sample PDF
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Chapter 22
Sharon Markless, David Streatfield
This chapter questions whether the shift from the Web as a vehicle for storing and transmitting information to the new Web as a series of social... Sample PDF
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Chapter 23
Catherine McLoughlin, Mark J.W. Lee
Learning management systems (LMS’s) that cater for geographically dispersed learners have been widely available for a number of years, but many... Sample PDF
Pedagogical Responses to Social Software in Universities
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Chapter 24
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The aim of this chapter is to overview the ways in which knowledge media technologies create opportunities for social learning. The Open Content... Sample PDF
Knowledge Media Tools to Foster Social Learning
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Chapter 25
Luc Pauwels, Patricia Hellriegel
This chapter looks into YouTube as one of the most popular Social Software platforms, challenging the dominant discourse with its focus on community... Sample PDF
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Chapter 26
Ismael Peña-López
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The Personal Research Portal
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Chapter 27
Andrew Ravenscroft, Musbah Sagar, Enzian Baur, Peter Oriogun
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Ambient Pedagogies, Meaningful Learning and Social Software
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Chapter 28
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With the trend towards social interaction over the Internet and the mushrooming of Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube in the social... Sample PDF
Interactivity Redefined for the Social Web
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Chapter 29
Sue Thomas, Chris Joseph, Jess Laccetti, Bruce Mason, Simon Perril, Kate Pullinger
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Chapter 30
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This chapter looks at some of the areas of tension between the new social networking, Web 2.0 communities and the values of higher education. It... Sample PDF
Bridging the Gap Between Web 2.0 and Higher Education
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Chapter 31
Steve Wheeler
The use of group oriented software, or groupware, encourages students to generate their own content (McGill et al, 2005) and can foster supportive... Sample PDF
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Chapter 32
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