Conceptualising social media support for tacit knowledge sharing: physicians’ perspectives and experiences

Panahi, Sirous and Watson, Jason and Partridge, Helen (2016) Conceptualising social media support for tacit knowledge sharing: physicians’ perspectives and experiences. Journal of Knowledge Management, 20 (2). pp. 344-363. ISSN 1367-3270


Purpose – This paper aims to explore the potential contributions of social media in supporting tacit knowledge sharing, according to the physicians’ perspectives and experiences.

Design/methodology/approach – Adopting a qualitative survey design, 24 physicians were interviewed. Purposive and snowball sampling were used to select the participants. Thematic analysis approach was used for data analysis.

Findings – The study revealed five major themes and over 20 sub-themes as potential contributions of social media to tacit knowledge flow among physicians. The themes included socialising, practising, networking, storytelling and encountering. In addition, with the help of the literature and the supporting data, the study proposed a conceptual model that explains the potential contribution of social media to tacit knowledge sharing.

Research limitations/implications – The study had both theoretical (the difficulty of distinguishing tacit and explicit knowledge in practice) and practical limitations (small sample size). The study findings have implications for the healthcare industry whose clinical teams are not always physically co-located but must exchange their critical experiential and tacit knowledge.

Originality/value – The study has opened up a new discussion of this area by demonstrating and conceptualising how social media tools may facilitate tacit knowledge sharing.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 04:38
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 04:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: knowledge sharing, social media, physicians, tacit knowledge, qualitative research
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080799 Library and Information Studies not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111711 Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
Fields of Research (2020): 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4610 Library and information studies > 461099 Library and information studies not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420399 Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
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