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The Role of Social Media and Knowledge Sharing in Organizational Learning

Social media has a huge impact on today’s world as it is the emerging platform for people of all age group and all over the world. Every sector is affected by it. Sharing is a typical action for everybody, but knowledge sharing is different from common sharing (Jones & Sallis, Knowledge management in education: Enhancing learning & education. ). It is a nonprofit organization, which was initialized on 30th of September as a tier of British Red Cross society. The Singapore Red Cross was officially incorporated by  government of Singapore at 6th April 1973 (Boyd, 2014). It is a complex and convoluted issue. Knowledge management is said to be the backbone of organizational learning (Holsapple, 2013). Sharing is a typical action for everybody, but knowledge sharing is different from common sharing (Jones & Sallis, Knowledge management in education: Enhancing learning & education. ). It is a complex and convoluted issue. Knowledge management is said to be the backbone of organizational learning (Holsapple, 2013). The company chosen here which is the Red cross organization uses knowledge sharing in all the levels of the company which is the reason behind the development of the company. It means a multifaceted approach to accomplish organizational objectives through making the most efficient use of knowledge. The efforts done in the process of knowledge management usually focuses on the objectives of the organization such as improvement of performance, competitive benefits, splitting of lessons learned, addition  and continuous advancement of the organization in all aspects.

The most convincing technological development in the last 20 years is the internet technology. The internet makes it achievable for humans to get in contact with each other, share informations, information, document, collaborate, video and photo with anyone anywhere in this world. In addition to this, people are able to utilize social media tools in order to increase the scope and richness of their network and gather information relating any possible event in the world (Holtshouse). Social media is no long an inconsequential process, applications like facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and MySpace have taken the world to a new level (Boyd, 2014). Dominancy of social media has increased and it has modified personal as well as professional relationships. It has allowed individuals to subsidize to a number of issues, develop new challenges, and facilitate collaboration. If a company knows its stakeholder, customer and employee needs better, it can develop faster.

 Knowledge sharing alludes to the assignment to help other people with information, and to work together with other individuals, grow new thoughts and actualize prepare (Jones & Sallis, Knowledge management in education: Enhancing learning & education). Companies use facebook and twitter to advertise their products and make their product popular. These provide a wide platform for the company to evolve and reach to many customers. Companies get infinite customers through these social media sites. These are indulged by through the socialization model which is related to the SECI model by Nonaka (Holtshouse).

Examples of Organizational Learning through Social Media: Red Cross and Food Bank Singapore

Red Cross organizations is going to organize a campaign in order to raise $450,000 for its local humanitarian services. The campaign will be done for the transportaid, FoodAid, Elderaid and the home for disabled. The company has used several social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Google+ and Linkedin for its campaign (Jones & Sallis, Knowledge management in education: Enhancing learning & education). The company had advertised the campaign by asking people to express their interest through a link that has been provided on the social media sites. Through this, the company can get an idea about the number of people interested in the campaign (van Osch, C., & Balogh, 2015). This is a tier of the socialization process indulged in the SECI model. Red cross has used to create and share tacit knowledge through direct information. Experimental knowledge is created by this where the skills is shared by the firm and this helps them to keep track of the interest of people towards the project.

In context to socialization, the information is shared efficiently in the company. The professionals at higher level take their best to share information with the employees at lower level. The older employees help the new employee in every possible way (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2014). Proper socialization is done in the organization. In context to externalization, the experienced employees share their experience with the new employees thus making them how to act according to the circumstances (Aggestam, 2015). Externalization is carried properly in the organization as well. In context to combination, the use of database and other technologies is done and maintained properly in the organization. When it comes to internalization, the organization provides training programs to the employees, who needs it and thus new methodologies are identified to the employees in order to help them work properly (Wang, Noe, & Wang, 2014).

The organization chosen for the study of building network of relationships is Food Bank Singapore. It is an organization, which collects spare food and distributes it among organizations such as old folk homes, family service centers and soup kitchens (Hislop, 2013). An efficient and effective connection has to be building up among the employee of the organization for the smooth and effective running of the firm. Building of network chain is very essential part of any organization’s growth. Proper network has to build in an organization for the proper working of the employees of the organization (Siemens, 2014). The employees at higher levels should cooperate with the employees at lower levels and thus listen to their problems and suggest them measures to solve that issue.

Benefits and Risks of Social Media in an Organization

Red Cross has provided a donate button on all the social media sites which helps the company to get donations and use it for welfare of the people. The donation tab is attached to all the social media sites and thus it is easy for the company to get donations so that the more welfare of people can be done (Johanson, 2015). This way the company has used social media to build capital. The organization has also embraced the interest of people through replying their comments on facebook and thus enhancing the social capital of the company. This way the interaction of the company with the people has helped it to develop the social capital

Introducing new technologies to the clients and teaching them how to use those technologies in an effective way helps a lot in the development of any organization. Technology is very essential for the growth and forward inclination of an organization (Rutsaert, Á., McConnon, A., & Verbeke, 2013). Social media plays a vital role in sharing of information within any organization. Employees in the company are able to know about the informations being forwarded to them also they can post queries regarding any issue individually (van Osch, C., & Balogh, 2015). Companies are made out of people and it is very essential for everyone within the company to be social. Social media can be of great help for the innovation development and support for any company. Each employee can express their ideas on a topic and express their views. Social media helps a lot in this. It can be explained through the double loop-learning model. The goals or decision-making rules are used in the first loop and their modification is enabled in the second loop. The ideas are identified in the first stage and if any modification is required, the modification is done in the second stage. First, the technology is identified to the employees and the doubts or queries of the employee are cleared at the second phase of learning (Johanson, 2015).

Red cross supports innovation through social media as if the company is in urgent need of something, it posts advertisements on the social sites and thus the immediate result is delivered to the needy. For instance, the firm has come up with a post regarding the shortage and urgency of O(negative) blood and thus the immediate results were met. The urgency was spread through this as many people could view the issue and help.

Using Technology and Social Media to Share Knowledge, Improve Communication, and Enhance Social Capital

Social media can be of great help in resolving issues within the organization. Various issues can be resolved by the means of social media. Social media provides the information to the users through podcasts, blogs and webinars (Duggan & Brenner, 2013). Users can write reviews or create forums, videos or wiki. The users are interconnected through the virtual world. It has resulted in a fundamental and transformational shift in the method that people are getting connected to each other. Through social media, the employees at higher levels can perform surveys. The managers can get to know about the level to which the employees are implementing any new idea and if any employee has any problem regarding the work. The communication between the employees can be enhanced. Sometimes, it is difficult for an employee to contact to higher authorities regarding the issues with the work (Siemens, 2014). Through social media, the employee can connect to the higher managers directly either individual or in a group of the employees. The connection and contact between the lower and the higher-level employees can be enhanced through the social media. A group cam be formed of the employees who face same type of issues within the organization. Their issues can be solved together thus saving the time. Conferences can be organized to solve the problems of the employees and webinars can be organized for the better knowledge of the employees (van Osch, C., & Balogh, 2015).

Red Cross has implemented the double loop learning model as first the idea is spread to all the employees and afterwards it is implemented. Thereafter, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are used to get suggestion from the people and furthur changes are made.

There are various risks connected with the utilization of social media in an organization. First risk is reputation management of the firm. Risk may be caused to the company’s reputation through social media by negative reputation. This may give rise to legal issues in case if a firm comments negative on other firm. Another risk that may arise due to use of social media is security issue (Ma & Chan, 2014). There is always threat of hacking, spy-wares and other bugs with the use of internet. Thus, the company’s confidential data may be lost or transformed to other company thus causing loss of the company’s data and resulting in downfall of the company. The other risk can be wastage of time as if the employee gets addicted to social media; he/she may always keep wasting time on such activities thus causing degradation in the development of the company.

It is an excellent platform for the employees to express their views and creativity. There are many advantages got from social media in terms of innovation for a company (Rutsaert, Á., McConnon, A., & Verbeke, 2013). The advantages are people keep their point of view individually and the employees express their like or dislike regarding the technology and innovation program. The major advantage is that if the higher employees do not have enough time to go to every employee and make them understand the situation individually, they can post the view on the social media site such as facebook (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2014). Every employee whom the manager wants to have access will receive the article and thus the time will be saved. In context to employees, if any employee is not able to understand anything properly or he/she is having query regarding the work, the query can be posted at anytime and the higher employee can respond to it (Levac, S., C., & Missiuna, 2015).

Conclusion

From the above discussion it can be concluded that, various measures has to be taken by the organization is order to assure security of its data and thus preventing the risks caused due to use of social media. Various social networking sites can be used for the development of the company as they provide huge platform to the company for the business to evolve.  Measures should be taken according to the level of risk caused . The solution to legal issues caused by negative comments is to make an endorsement procedure indulging a senior pioneer for any online networking assistance. The other solution is to work with the IT office or to contact an expert to ensure appropriate protection and security settings are set up properly. This is key to secure classified data, to prevent from having your record hacked, or getting into to digital burglary. Higher profile organizations require more filtered security framework. Employees should be encouraged to use the means positively and not to waste their time on unnecessary use of social media. The results found out from the model should be implied for the proper development of the organization. Social media should be used to enhance the development of the firm in a positive way, not for the degradation in development.

In the section of the knowledge sharing, the company is facing issues in the section of data loss and brand image hampering through the use of social media platform. After analyzing the risk factors it can be recommended that the risk mitigation strategy can be implemented in the externalization section of the SECI model. For brand image hampering issue, the sensitive informations regarding the clients must not be published on the social media sites. For instance, the email address of the client and contact informations. Taken in instance, the donation tab mentioned above must not show the personal details of the client.

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Duggan, ,. M., & Brenner, ,. J. (2013). The demographics of social media users, 2012. Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project .

Hislop, ,. D. (2013). Knowledge management in organizations: A critical introduction. Oxford University Press.

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