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Socio-technical factors influencing channel use for knowledge-sharing in regional SME networks

Mason, Cecily, Castleman, Tanya and Parker, Craig 2008, Socio-technical factors influencing channel use for knowledge-sharing in regional SME networks, International journal of knowledge management studies (IJKMS), vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 303-319.

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Title Socio-technical factors influencing channel use for knowledge-sharing in regional SME networks
Author(s) Mason, Cecily
Castleman, Tanya
Parker, Craig
Journal name International journal of knowledge management studies (IJKMS)
Volume number 2
Issue number 3
Start page 303
End page 319
Publisher Inderscience
Place of publication Olney, England
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1743-8268
1743-8276
Keyword(s) knowledge-sharing
knowledge management
virtual communities of practice
small and medium enterprise
SME
Australia
small firm
socio-technical
business network
channel
communication
web
email
regional development
Summary The economic sustainability of regional areas is dependent on cross-industry innovation and knowledge-sharing among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The web-based initiatives deployed in regions worldwide to facilitate SME knowledge-sharing have typically been unsuccessful. This paper argues that the main reason for these failures is the lack of understanding of the socio-technical factors which influence the use of web-based channels (websites, online forums and expertise databases) as well as the more conventional channels (face-to-face and e-mail). This paper reports the findings of interpretive case studies of two regional SME business networks. It evaluates the major channels on six socio-technical criteria: link strength; trustworthiness; tacitness; usability; durability and currency. None of the channels were strong against all socio-technical factors. This highlights the importance of achieving an appropriate mix of channels to facilitate SME knowledge-sharing.
Notes Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 080609 Information Systems Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017129

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