Professional networks and knowledge sharing : the role of ICT use : a comparative study
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This study of media use and knowledge sharing within distributed organizations addresses two questions: (1) How do people combine different ICTs (information and communication technologies) when they engage in a professional knowledge-sharing network? (2) How are combinations of ICTs used when people engage in frequent as opposed to infrequent relations? Existing research exploring the role of ICTs in distributed organizational settings has tended to focus on single media use and the importance of social capital. As a result, the characteristics and consequences of multiple media use have been largely ignored. Our study reveals that people combine different ICTs all the time, but they do so relatively less often in the knowledge-sharing network, where they rely more on official channels. We also found that frequent and successful knowledge sharing correlates with each individual’s willingness, and ability, to communicate their knowledge assets freely.