Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Social tagging systems, such as del.icio.us, have helped users find and reuse information by sharing individuals’ structural knowledge, i.e., the knowledge of relationships among documents and concepts. Besides being an Internet phenomenon, social tagging can help organizations manage their intranet document repositories. The structural knowledge embedded in tags is flat, shallow, and often ambiguous however. We develop a theoretical model to argue for potential benefits of sharing deeper structural knowledge in an electronic document repository through personal document hierarchies. Based on the theoretical model, we design a “social hierarchies” system. Deployment and exploratory study confirm the benefits of sharing personal hierarchies in a collaborative knowledge work environment and suggest future research directions.