CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Timothy J. Ellis

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Simon Cleveland

Abstract

While knowledge is one of an organization’s greatest assets, it remains a challenge to facilitate knowledge transfer between people within an organization. Social influence has been studied in its role of facilitating information diffusion, which is necessary for knowledge transfer to occur. Among this research, tie strength, a quantifiable characteristic of a social network that determines the link between two nodes, has been measured to determine the impact of social influence on knowledge transfer and information dissemination within a social network. Current research that explores the impact of social influence on information diffusion has been conducted within public social networks due to the availability of data that can be gathered from public social online network systems, such as Facebook. With the emergence of collaboration technologies that exist in online social network tools being utilized within organizations, there is an opportunity to digitally collect information regarding information dissemination within a collaborative network. This study captured data from an online social network, specifically a unified communication tool, being used within a collaborative social network at a mid-sized South Central corporation. A content analysis of Lync messages for 1,749 connections was performed to quantitatively measure the influence of tie strength on information dissemination within a collaborative social network. The results demonstrated that tie strength had a significant impact on information dissemination using a collaborative system. Multivariate analysis of variance showed that tie strength had the largest impact on information dissemination using the instant messaging modality of a collaboration system.

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