Social Media Use and Its Effect on Knowledge Sharing: Evidence from Public Organisations in Delta State, Nigeria
This study investigates social media use and its effect on knowledge sharing. Based on the review of related literature, we hypothesised that social media use has a significant effect on outward and inward knowledge sharing.
While the notion of social media use in work organisations has been progressively developed, empirical studies linking social media to the context of knowledge sharing have only begun to emerge. Even so, literature on social media use and its impact on public organisation is still tentative and remains a developing area.
The partial least square method was utilised in testing of hypotheses with data collected from 103 employees, who by virtue of their position and job function(s) interface with the public for the purpose of sharing knowledge via the social media space.
The study made contributions to the social knowledge management literature in two ways. First, the study developed a research model that links social media use to the two distinct dimensions of knowledge sharing. Second, the study provides a quantitative approach, where statistical techniques were applied to validate the social media use and knowledge sharing link.
Statistically, the public organisations utilise social media partly for knowledge sharing, with its effect being significant on outward knowledge sharing and insignificant on inward knowledge sharing. This indicates that social media were deployed mainly for information dissemination “outward knowledge sharing” and not for stakeholders’ feedback and interaction “inward knowledge sharing”.
Public organisations should develop a policy framework and guidelines for social media use to encourage the full use of this technology to inform and interact with stakeholders. It is important for this policy document to adopt best practices regarding interactive spaces so that both knowledge sharing dimensions manifest themselves in social media communications. Second, it is necessary to carry out staff training for the professional use of this technology for knowledge sharing.
Future studies should extend to more populations in different contexts to validate findings
This paper intends to influence practices adopted by organisations in the public sector to improve the knowledge sharing dimensions via the social media space.
Future studies may extend to public organisations in other geographical locations around Nigeria. It will be useful for studies to provide an international perspective by sampling public organisations from different countries or by comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies, specifically those from other countries. A longitudinal study should be encouraged to detect advancement or development with regards to the subject matter over a period of time.