CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Psychology


Martha M. Snyder

Committee Member

Inkyoung Hur

Committee Member

Ling Wang


enterprise social network, knowledge management, knowledge sharing


With the increased use of social network technologies in organizational environments, there is a need to understand how these technologies facilitate organizational knowledge management, particularly knowledge sharing. Prior research has focused on the relationship between knowledge management and enterprise social networking systems (ESNS), but little research has been conducted relating to how organizations implement and use ESNS for knowledge sharing. The goal was to construct and validate internally a model that offers guidance for the successful implementation and use of ESNS for knowledge sharing and building successful virtual communities of practice (vCoPs) among IT supply chain professionals in a healthcare context. An ESNS implementation model was developed and validated using design and development research methods.

The study was carried out in three phases. First, a preliminary model was constructed based on a synthesis of the existing ESNS, knowledge management, and vCoPs literature. Second, the preliminary model components guided the design of a questionnaire that was completed by 144 stakeholders. Follow up one-on-one interviews were conducted with a subset of six participants from this population to gain a deeper understanding of the questionnaire responses that supported the model construction. Descriptive statistics were used to organize and report the closed-ended questions and a thematic content analysis was used to analyze and organize the data from open-ended questions and interviews. The model was revised based on stakeholder input.

In phase three, the revised model was presented to a panel of experts representing the target population. The Delphi technique was used to guide the review of the revised model. The data collected from this process were used to report additional modifications that were considered to further improve the model. The resulting model demonstrates the constructs from the original Corcoran and Duane (2017) regarding antecedents, key motivators, organizational problems, individual problems, organizational benefits, and individual benefits.

In addition, the resulting model includes additional constructs from the original model that emerged as themes from the participant interviews. These items are technical content source under the key motivators’ category, lack of governance, large number of groups, personal and professional content under the organizational problems’ category, privacy and trust concerns under the individual problems’ category, centralized knowledge management under organizational benefits, and increased connection with an organization with under the individual benefits category. The results of this study aim to provide researchers a foundation from which to explore further development of this type of ESNS implementation model in other contexts. For practitioners, the model can help organizations successfully implement and manage ESNSs and vCoPs intended for knowledge sharing.