Social Media for Knowledge Workers

Social Media for Knowledge Workers

Ikbal Maulana (Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8614-4.ch072
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Abstract

This chapter explores social media for knowledge workers. Social media enables people to connect with others beyond their physical social circle. Constraints of space and time, as well as class boundaries, can easily be overcome by the use of social media. Socializing through social media is not merely the virtual version of physical socialization. It allows for different kinds of social interactions. The preservation of expression allows asynchronous communication and learning what others have written, which in turn shows one their interests and identities. The mostly simple and short messages cannot, however, accommodate the sophisticated information, which knowledge workers usually create and exchange at work. Social media is designed to be simple to use so that anyone with access to the Internet can use it. Many users become addicted to social media such that they cannot resist wasting their productive time. However, despite its limitations and potential for distraction, social media can be beneficial for knowledge workers. It may not be a good source of Know-What and Know-Why, but it can provide us with abundant and rich information of Know-Who. The uniqueness and specialty of Know-Who gained from social media is that it contains personal information, which in physical company only close friends possess. It allows us to develop social bonds with people who are difficult to reach through conventional media. It also enables us to develop our identity and makes us more easily discoverable by potential partners or employers.
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Background

The extensive use of ICT suggests the increasing importance of knowledge in the economy, and therefore today we can speak of the knowledge-based economy. Knowledge workers, who intensively apply and/or generate knowledge in their works, increasingly become the most important labour force. In short, the progress of ICT leads to an increase in the importance of knowledge workers (Jemielniak, 2012).

In this chapter knowledge worker is defined as the one who works in a knowledge intensive profession, either uses or exploits knowledge intensively such as many professionals in industry or business, or works on producing knowledge such as researchers or academicians working in corporate laboratories or higher education. Academicians and researchers can be considered as the first generation of knowledge workers, because they were already using and generating knowledge before people in other sectors deliberately did so. Higher education institutions are places where existing knowledge workers teach future generations of knowledge workers.

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