Knowledge management is referred to the method of creating, using, sharing and managing the information and knowledge of a company. This is a multidisciplinary approach which is related to the achievement of various objectives using knowledge in the best possible way. The knowledge management based process includes various courses which are taught in fields of information systems, business administration and management. The efforts related to knowledge management are typically focussed on the objectives of the organization which are, innovation, competitive advantage, integration, continuous improvement and sharing the lessons that are learned (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2014). The knowledge management efforts mainly collaborate with the process of organizational learning and can be further distinguished with the help of focus on knowledge as the strategic asset of the organizations. Knowledge management can also act as an enabler of the organizational learning process.
The various platforms that are provided to the modern business organizations for the purpose of effective knowledge management include the social media websites like, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms play an important role in the knowledge sharing process, the building of social capital, aiding problems and supporting innovations to the highest levels. The essay will be based on the analysis of the ways by which these platforms affect the various learning processes in the multinational corporations (Becerra-Fernandez, Leidner & Leidner, 2014).
Discussion related to the application of social media in knowledge management
The concept of knowledge management has become a burning topic in the large and small sized organizations. The era of the millennials has started and the development of the mind-blowing technological solutions have affected the operations of the modern business organizations. The knowledge levels of the employees are reflected in the expertise that they are able to depict in the performance of the organizations in the market. The organizations apply the concept of knowledge management to provide superior products to the customers. The major goals that are related to the knowledge management related process are, sharing the values of the expertise of the best workers with other employees. The organizations further aim at providing the corporate information in a structured manner so that it is available to everyone (Chang & Lin, 2015). The use of social media has made the knowledge sharing process much simpler than before and the speed of the process has increased due to this factor. The processes by which the organizations aim to use social media for knowledge sharing are as follows,
Instant and interactive way of earning – The multinational organizations use the social platforms like, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the purpose of providing appropriate training to the employees so that their knowledge levels can be increased. The online training process provides high levels of flexibility to the organizations. The continuous interaction that takes place between the employees in the social media groups helps in increasing the knowledge levels and new information can also be adopted by the employees. The employees of the global or multinational corporations are thereby able to interact with each other in an effective manner and instant communication is provided by the management to the employees (Chen & Fong, 2015).
Practical and simplified educational levels of content – The employees can face issues in their work process in the organizations and this can be solved with the help of the materials that are provided on the social media platforms. The knowledge that is provided by the multinational organizations on the social media platforms prove to be far more educative in nature as compared to the written manuals that can be offered to them. The various attractive ways that are undertaken by the organizations in this case are the blog posts on Twitter, the infographics and the groups that are formed on Facebook. The corporate channels of social media are able to make the content much more accessible by the internal help provided by the employees (Del Giudice & Maggioni, 2014).
Visual guide production – Another effective and innovative way to provide support to the employees is based on the use of the videos which are interactive in nature. The videos can be created in the social media platforms like Facebook and posted in the page of the corporate group which can be helpful for them to understand the various processes.
Creation of internal community – The use of social media can help the multinational corporations in building internal communities within the members of the organizations. The employees of these corporations are thereby able to gain huge amounts of knowledge during the work process. The employees are also provided with the space that they need to gain their knowledge and skills within the groups that are formed in the organizations (Donate & de Pablo, 2015).
Establishment of a hierarchy – The management needs to select the appropriate social media platform and the supervisors are then required to manage the groups in an effective manner. The administrators of the groups play an important in the successful implementation of the knowledge management in the multinational organizations.
Knowledge can be defined as a complicated and complex issue in the various organizations. The process of knowledge sharing can be defined as ways by which the employees are able to help each other by sharing the knowledge that has been gained by them. Social media plays an important role in the knowledge sharing activities that are performed by the organizations (Edwards, 2015). The social media platforms are thereby able to assist the process of communication, collaboration, providing connections, completing and then combining. The social media based tools have been able to change the ways by which people communicate, interact, share content and further collaborate within the organizations.
Social capital can be defined as the knowledge that is embedded within the individuals, which is available with the help of the relationship networks that are created within the organizations. The relationship can also be related to the trust that is developed between the organizations and the suppliers, the customers and the key stakeholders within a period of time (Evans, Dalkir & Bidian, 2015). The concept of social capital is based on three major dimensions which are, the structural dimension, the cognitive dimension and the relational dimension. The social capital based concept has gained a lot of importance in the successful operations of the modern multinational corporations. The creation of social capital in the foreign operations of various organizations is important for their successful operations and coordination with the main area of operations. The levels of social capital that are required by the companies are determined by the organizational structure and the interdependence that exists between the headquarters and the international units (Fidel, Schlesinger & Cervera, 2015). The micro or macro level of social capital is formed with the help of the boundary spanners of private social capital of the companies and the process of its transformation into the public social capital. The development of the social capital is further based on bridging of the relationships between the various global units that operate in the entire world. The employees thereby try to form a link which helps in improving the work process of each other with the help of social connections. The social ties are thereby used for the purpose of sharing knowledge with the employees who a part of the global operations (Geisler & Wickramasinghe, 2015). The understanding and the supporting boundary-spanning related activities of the organizations play a valuable role in the enhancement of the various work processes in the multinational corporations. The employees who are involved in the corporate levels of the strategic decision making are able to understand the values and goals of the organization in an effective manner. The involvement of the individuals in the taskforces, committees, training programmes and the visits to foreign and home campus provide different forms of interaction that are associated with the normative process of integration. The interaction that is developed between the home and foreign branch based employees and the cooperation to take decisions related to the various organizational processes (Inkinen, 2016).
Social media can be used as a support to the innovation related activities in the organizations. This platform can provide an excellent way to the multinational corporations so that they are easily able to out of the potential and the existing customers. The organizations can also take advantage of the creativity of the employees and use their innovative ideas in the organizational processes. There are two major ways by which the companies can involve the network in the development of the new services and products. Crowdsourcing is related to the sharing of solutions that are related to the particular problem which the organization is facing with respect to the groups (Jiménez-Jiménez, Martínez-Costa & Sanz-Valle, 2014). The community thereby collects, then develops and ranks the various contributions so that the strongest performers can be received. The open innovation process helps in allowing the people to submit the competitive ideas and the inventions for the organization to harness. The use of social media for the innovation related activities of the organizations can provide huge advantages to the employees. The organization can benefit from the creativity and the wisdom of the people who are not a part of the workforce. The increase in the likelihood of people in picking and developing the innovative ideas which are otherwise not recognised (Omotayo, 2015). The outside perspective of the customers and the potential customers can recognise the opportunities and the issues that the organization is not aware of. The increase in the brand advocacy and the customer loyalty which is developed in the opinions that the employees can provide in the business decisions. The lower cost levels related to the development of new products and the enhancement of the old products are affected by the social media application. The usage of social media can also lead some major disadvantages that are based on the lack of the long-term motivation levels from the participants (Reich, Gemino & Sauer, 2014). The lack of the written contracts or documents or the employee agreements is also related to the usage of social media by the multinational corporations. The difficulties that are related to the management of the large-scale projects and maintenance of the working relationship with the crowdsourced workers.
The use of social media for the purpose of problem-solving in the organizations is best explained by the extensive usage of Twitter for the professional enhancement which is well established in the industry. Twitter has been primarily used for reaching out to the personal social circles and the Professional Learning Network (PLN) with the help of this medium. The employees are able to follow the interests of the other employees who have similar types of interests (Tseng & Lee, 2014). The value that is provided by the two other major social media organizations namely LinkedIn and Facebook is also well-known in the various global industries of the world. LinkedIn has helped in the free movement in labour market which is quite well-known in the industry. The CEOs of the global organizations have more number of accounts on Twitter and the organizations have made it mandatory to the manage the Facebook pages in an effective manner. The developments further suggest that the social media has grown in the recent years and provide opportunities to the multinational organizations. For example, an organization that has its operations in the agricultural sector can identify the tweets that the appropriate for their use with the help of the hashtag filters (Villar, Alegre & Pla-Barber, 2014). This can further help in the growth of knowledge levels in the organizations with the help of the exchange of opinions.
Risks related to knowledge sharing with the help of social media
The major risk that is related to the usage of social media for the purpose of sharing knowledge is the security levels that is provided by the various companies. The information that is shared with the help of social media or internet needs to secured in nature so that the knowledge is shared in an effective manner among the officials of the organizations. The proper channels of sharing knowledge are important for the effective and safe sharing of knowledge among the employees. The risks are also related to the information being leaked to people who are not a part of the entire process (Omotayo, 2015).
The multinational corporations need to adopt the social media strategies for internal and external communications in the modern competitive business environment. The communication avenues are able to play a pivotal role in the overall development of the business organizations and the utility further extends beyond the marketing of services and products. The social capital within the organizations is enhanced by the integration of social media in the conventional communication channels. The use of social media therefore helps in the increase of the communication levels and innovation in the modern business organizations.
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