CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

James L. Parrish

Committee Member

Timothy J. Ellis

Committee Member

Bennet Hammer

Abstract

Today we are experiencing a rapidly increasing trend to use social networking in ways that dramatically affect both our personal and our public lives. This is a global phenomenon being experienced around the world. Exactly how this technology is being used and by whom is of great interest. The problem is that not a lot of research has been conducted to investigate the role social networking sites play to influence a person’s attitude toward sharing knowledge at work. In light of the marked increase in the use of social networking sites and how it is changing the way we live, both at work and during leisure activities, this research examines the factors that influence our attitudes towards knowledge sharing. This study presents the results of a quantitative research to understand the nature and impact of these motivating factors and analyzes how they influence our attitudes regarding the use of social networking sites as a venue in which to share knowledge.

This study was conducted by means of an Internet survey. A self-administered questionnaire provided data and assisted in determining the degree to which the use of social networking sites is being used to share knowledge in the workplace. This non-experimental, cross-sectional, correlational study was conducted by means of quantitative research procedures to investigate the impact and influence social networking has on the knowledge transfer process. This research showed how social networking has redefined the collaborative environment that encourages knowledge holders to share their valuable knowledge. The results show that some factors, such as organizational climate, the subjective norm, and knowledge sharing attitudes, have a dominant impact on our behavior regarding the use of social networking sites and our intention to share knowledge with others. Another set of factors influenced our behavior and attitudes, but to a lesser degree, while one factor, anticipation of extrinsic rewards, actually exerted a negative influence on an individual’s knowledge sharing attitudes. The results of this dissertation increased and contributed to our understanding of the relationship between social networking sites and intention to share knowledge and set the stage for follow-on research.

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