Theorizing on the take-up of social technologies, organizational policies and norms, and consultants' knowledge-sharing practices

Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi, Steve Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We identify the effects of specific organizational norms, arrangements, and policies regarding uses of social technologies for informal knowledge sharing by consultants. For this study, the term social technologies refers to the fast-evolving suite of tools such as traditional applications like e-mail, phone, and instant messenger; emerging social networking platforms (often known as social media) such as blogs and wikis; public social networking sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn); and enterprise social networking technologies that are specifically hosted within one organization's computing environment (i.e., Socialtext). Building from structuration theory, the analysis presented focuses on the knowledge practices of consultants related to their uses of social technologies and the ways in which organizational norms and policies influence these practices. A primary contribution of this research is a detailed contextualization of social technology uses by knowledge workers. As many organizations are allowing social media-enabled knowledge sharing to develop organically, most corporate policy toward these platforms remains defensive, not strategic, limiting opportunities. Implications for uses and expectations of social technologies arising from this research will help organizations craft relevant policies and rules to best support technology-enabled informal knowledge practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-179
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • information workers
  • knowledge and information
  • organization theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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