The Utilisation of Facebook for Knowledge Sharing in Selected Local Government Councils in Delta State, Nigeria
Facebook has made it possible for organisation to embrace social and network centric knowledge processes by creating opportunities to connect, interact, and collaborate with stakeholders. We have witnessed a significant increase in the popularity and use of this tool in many organisations, especially in the private sector. But the utilisation of Facebook in public organisations is at its infancy, with many also believing that the use of Facebook is not a common practice in many public organisations in Nigeria. In spite of this fact, our discernment on the implications of Facebook usage in public organisations in Nigeria, especially organisations at the local level, seem to be remarkably limited. This paper specifically sought to ascertain if Facebook usage influenced inward and outward knowledge sharing in the selected local government councils in Delta State, Nigeria
The qualitative method was adopted. The study used interview as the primary means of data gathering. The study purposively sampled thirty-six employees as interviewees, twenty from Oshimili South and sixteen from Oshimili North local government councils respectively. The thematic content analysis method was used to analyse interview transcripts.
This research made distinct contributions to the available literature in social knowledge management, specifically bringing to the fore the intricacies surrounding the use of Facebook for knowledge sharing purposes in the public sector.
The local government councils were yet to appreciate and utilise the interactive and collaborative nature of Facebook in improving stakeholders’ engagement, feedback, and cooperation. Facebook was used for outward knowledge sharing but not for inward knowledge sharing.
Local government councils should encourage interaction via Facebook, show willingness to capture knowledge from identifiable sources, and effectively manage critical knowledge assets in order to build trust, cooperation, and confidence in the system. To gain strategic benefits from the use of Facebook for synchronous communication of knowledge, local government councils should ensure that the use of such technology is aligned with strategic plans and that directional change is in line with the new knowledge economy, where interaction and collaboration through technology are seen as strategic imperatives for continued success and sustainability. In addition, local government councils need to train stakeholders on effective use of Facebook for knowledge sharing, with special emphasis on how, why, who, when, and where to use such tool for knowledge sharing activities.