Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Social media is one of the most disruptive technologies in executing a firm’s digital business transformation strategies. Does the firm’s ability to use social media affect its proficiency in exploring and exploiting knowledge? What should be the role of business analytics talent in this equation? We study theoretically and empirically these cutting-edge research questions. Our proposed research model argues that social media capability enables the development of knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation, and business analytics talent exerts a positive reinforcing role in the impact of social media on knowledge exploration. We empirically tested the proposed research model with a secondary dataset from a sample of US firms using PLS path modeling. After running a robustness test by estimating eight alternatives/competing models, the empirical analysis revealed that social media capability is positively related to knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation, but with a stronger effect on knowledge exploration. Moreover, business analytics talent plays a positive moderator role in the relationship between social media capability and knowledge exploration. This study contributes to the IS research by (1) introducing, developing, and operationalizing the concepts of social media capability and business analytics talent; and (2) theoretically arguing and empirically showing the pivotal role of social media capability in exploring new knowledge and the complementary role of business analytics talent. Our study also provides several critical lessons learned for top executives and proposes promising future IS research avenues.





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