Understanding Knowledge Networks Through Social Network Analysis

Understanding Knowledge Networks Through Social Network Analysis

Ronel Davel (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa), Adeline S. A. Du Toit (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa) and Martie M. Mearns (University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2017040101
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Abstract

Social network analysis (SNA) is being increasingly deployed as an instrument to plot knowledge and expertise as well as to confirm the character of connections in informal networks within organisations. This study investigated how the integration of networking into KM can produce significant advantages for organisations. The aim of the research was to examine how the interactions between SNA, Communities of Practice (CoPs) and knowledge maps could potentially influence knowledge networks. The researchers endeavour to illustrate via this question that cultivating synergies between SNA, CoPs and knowledge maps will enable organisations to produce stronger knowledge networks and ultimately increase their social capital. This article intends to present a process map that can be useful when an organisation wants to positively increase its social capital by examining influencing interactions between SNA, CoPs and knowledge maps, thereby enhancing the manner in which they share and create knowledge.
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Advancing Km Through Social Capital

The importance of social capital for KM has been debated by several authors including Swan et al (1999), Lesser and Prusak (1999), Liebowitz (2005), Inkpen and Tsang (2005), McElroy et al. (2006), Smedlund (2008) and Manning (2010), to name a few. It has also been hypothesised that social capital can increase an organisation’s KM capability as it has the capacity to influence KM in various ways (Hoffman et al., 2005, p.98).

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