Using Social Media to Improve Accuracy of Org Meta knowledge by Paul Leonardi 11/6 at 9:30am

October 21, 2013

Seminar Flyer

Please join us on 11/6 at 9:30 am for a Special Seminar on Ambient Awareness: Using Social Media to Improve Accuracy of Org Meta knowledge by Paul Leonardi

Paul Leonardi (Ph.D., Stanford University) is the Pentair-Nugent Associate Professor at Northwestern University. He teaches courses on the management of innovation and organizational change in the School of Communication, McCormick School of Engineering, and Kellogg School of Management.

Ambient Awareness: Using Social Media to Improve Accuracy of Organizational Meta knowledge

Abstract: Accurate metaknowledge (knowledge of ‘who knows what’ and ‘who knows whom’ within the organization) is necessary for a variety of work processes. But organization theorists know little about how people develop and can improve the accuracy of their metaknowledge. The argument in this paper is that use of enterprise social networking sites can increase the accuracy of people’s metaknowledge and increase the similarity in metaknowledge held by coworkers in the organization (also known as a transactive memory). The results of a quasi-natural field experiment in which only one of two matched-sample groups within a large financial services firm was given access to the enterprise social networking site for six months revealed that by making communicative messages visible and people¹s social networks translucent, the technology enabled observers to learn vicariously from the communications occurring amongst their coworkers and, consequently, improve the accuracy of their metaknowledge (a 31% improvement in knowledge of ‘who knows what’ and an 88% improvement in knowledge of ‘who knows whom’). The results also show that individuals’ metaknowledge became more similar to each other when using the technology, thus creating a transactive memory. Based on these findings, I discuss how the concept of ‘ambient awareness’ awareness of ambient communications occurring amongst others in the organization can contribute to the work of organizational theorists interested in understanding and enabling the conditions for effective knowledge transfer.
Date: Wednesday, Nov 6th, 2013
Time: 9:30am- 11:30
Place: Rm. 110 CUPPA Hall, 412 S. Peoria

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