Research Papers

Abstract

Over the last decade, social media have become an essential part of our daily lives. While social media were initially a phenomenon of private life, there are increasingly stronger tendencies to employ them in the corporate world to improve communication, coordination, and cooperation in organizations as well as supply chains. In this context, this study investigates (1) what role utilitarian and hedonic motivations to use social media play with regard to knowledge sharing through enterprise social media and (2) whether knowledge sharing affects employee productivity. The two research-leading questions are borrowed from a recent study by Aboelmaged (2018). In contrast with his study, we excluded private social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) from the investigation and focused on enterprise social media that are specifically developed for organizational use (e.g., Skype for Business, Microsoft SharePoint). The results obtained in this study differ strongly from those of Aboelmaged (2018), who concluded that the relevant motivation for knowledge exchange is hedonic rather than utilitarian. In addition, he suggested that using enterprise social networks to share knowledge with customers and suppliers contributes more to productivity than internal knowledge sharing. In contrast, our study found the opposite. The differences in results raise many new questions and therefore have the potential to stimulate further research in this relevant field.

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