Title: Sharing knowledge with conversational technologies: web logs versus discussion boards

Authors: Arben Asllani, Lawrence P. Ettkin, Ashvini Somasundar

Addresses: Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Avenue, Dept. 6156, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598, USA. ' Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Avenue, Dept. 6156, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598, USA. ' Department of Management, College of Business Administration, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 615 McCallie Avenue, Dept. 6156, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598, USA

Abstract: Knowledge has become an important resource for organisations in their quest to achieve competitive advantage. In order to efficiently manage such a resource, organisations are using information technology to acquire, store and communicate data, information, and knowledge. Both traditional and modern conversational technologies were originally developed for other purposes, and later were adopted for knowledge management. This paper compares web logs (blogs) to discussion boards, as two alternative conversational technologies in the process of knowledge sharing and retention. The results of an experimental study show that blogs are more successful technologies when used to communicate tacit knowledge and when they are intended for a general audience. On the other hand, discussion boards can be used more efficiently to communicate specific, explicit knowledge to a specialised audience. Our findings suggest that knowledge communication and retention rates can increase when the above two conversational technologies are combined with traditional face-to-face communication methods.

Keywords: knowledge management; conversational technologies; knowledge blogs; organisational blogs; discussion boards; knowledge sharing; tacit knowledge; knowledge retention.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2008.016607

International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.7 No.2, pp.217 - 230

Published online: 11 Jan 2008 *

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