Management Information Systems Quarterly


We draw from and extend Nonaka’s (1994) theory of knowledge creation to develop a model of media selection and use in the knowledge conversion (KC) process. KC is a process wherein an individual is affected by the experiences of another. The outcomes of KC—transferred and transformed knowledge—hinge on the development of understanding. The KC process is enabled via various communicative and non-communicative media. Because the KC process occurs over time, it possesses a temporal fabric or structure. We explore the practical realities of KC as a dynamic, time- and experience-dependent process. We consider how the temporal fabric of KC creates an evolving reciprocal relationship among perceived media utility, selection, and use of media, as well as switching and/or combining media. We propose and discuss two key factors as determinants of perceived media utility use in the KC process: (1) the temporal behavior of individuals engaged in the KC process and (2) individual and joint experience-based factors. We also discuss the role of contextual factors as antecedents. Finally, we offer and illustrate two primary temporal structures for KC media selection and use: (1) monophasic, wherein KC participants use a single medium at a time, and (2) polyphasic, wherein KC participants deploy multiple media simultaneously. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for the design of KC-enabling systems and directions for future research.