Recent information systems research has challenged the tendency of researchers to focus upon single information system (Vertegaal 2003) or upon individuals simply as users of those systems (Lamb and Kling 2003). Responding to these critiques, this paper forwards a new paradigm through which to study knowledge management: the multimodal knowledge network. Drawing heavily upon the field of social network research, we argue that the way in which multiple individuals interact with one another and with multiple information management systems will have significant implications for organizational knowledge sharing outcomes. In this study, we conduct a comparative case study through which to begin building a theory of multimodal knowledge networks. We study five health care teams in a large health maintenance organization and find that, although these teams have identical portfolios of information management systems and a similar complement of employees, each team configures its knowledge resources differently to complete similar tasks. We find that the structures that result from these multiple interpersonal and human–systems interactions have implications on knowledge outcomes for the network. We develop propositions as a result of this analysis and outline directions for future research.
Kane, Gerald and Alavi, Maryam, "Casting the Net: A Multimodal Network Perspective on Knowledge Management" (2005). ICIS 2005 Proceedings. 19.