The use of enterprise social network sites for knowledge sharing in distributed organizations: The role of organizational affordances

Nicole B. Ellison, Jennifer L. Gibbs, Matthew S. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enterprise social network sites (ESNSs) are increasingly being introduced into large multinational organizations. In this article, we consider their potential for supporting knowledge-sharing practices within the organization. First, we build on prior work on affordances by applying notions of collective affordances and affordances for organizing to the study of social media, and we theorize how ESNSs may provide organizational affordances for knowledge sharing in distributed multinational organizations in particular. Second, we articulate ways in which ESNS affordances may shape knowledge sharing through consideration of social capital dynamics, support for relationships and interactions, context collapse, and network interactions. Finally, and building on these ideas, we propose a research agenda and suggestions for future research on this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-123
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affordances
  • Distributed organizations
  • Enterprise social network sites
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Social media

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