Social Technologies, Informal Knowledge Practices, and the Enterprise

Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi, Steve Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


This article focuses on the ways in which social technologies facilitate informal knowledge sharing in the workplace. Social technologies include both common technologies such as email, phone, and instant messenger and emerging social networking technologies, often known as social media or Web 2.0, such as blogs, wikis, public social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), enterprise social networking technologies, etc. We know social technologies support informal interactions over digital systems and influence informal social connections among people within and across organizational boundaries. To understand the role of social technologies in informal knowledge practices, we pursue a field study of knowledge workers in consulting firms to investigate the role of social technologies in their informal knowledge sharing practices. Our theorizing from the data is guided by the conceptual premises of sociomateriality to better understand the ways social technologies are integrated with common knowledge practices. Findings highlight five knowledge practices supported by the use of social technologies. Building from these findings we offer conceptual insights regarding the material performance of different social technologies as an assemblage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-137
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • informal knowledge sharing
  • knowledge practices
  • social media
  • social technologies
  • sociomateriality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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