University of Twente Student Theses


Cycling in a connected world: Utilizing the SECI cycle of knowledge creation to construct a social media method for high-tech SMEs.

Jansen, Daury (2014) Cycling in a connected world: Utilizing the SECI cycle of knowledge creation to construct a social media method for high-tech SMEs.

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Abstract:A dynamic environment such as the technological industry often causes firms to give priority to knowledge and the managing of this knowledge. However, a first important step in the managing of knowledge is the creation of it. Since small- and medium enterprises have a lack of internal resources, managers of these firms are more often resulting to informal ways to create the knowledge they need. With the rising volume of web-based applications such as social media, it remains the question whether these applications can aid these managers in this knowledge creation process. Previous studies have reported that this is certainly possible, but much of this research has been descriptive in nature. From the practical side, managers are aware that social media has value but this remains unexplored due to a lack of knowledge and/or time. Therefore the purpose of this research is to bridge this gap in literature and practice by using the knowledge creation model developed by Nonaka and Takeuchi (1994), the SECI cycle of knowledge creation. A design science research approach is taken, to systematically combine the academic literature with the practical needs of companies. The current literature on the SECI cycle in an online environment is reviewed to form requirements, which are used to systematically search through the social media literature. The study finds that the 3M-Framework of Gallaugher and Ransbotham (2010) is most suited to meet these requirements. However, the main drawback of the framework is its metaphoric nature, so this is tackled through analogies that result in two social media phases of distribution and extraction. These two social media phases are modeled into a new method (SM-SECI) that includes the use of a log file for distribution and the use of tags for extraction. To empirically expand SM-SECI, three case studies were conducted at high-tech SMEs. The main observations made that were not supported by SM-SECI were a lack of coordination, use of tools which cause for distraction and a lack of interaction. The lack of interaction was examined further through a second design cycle which proposed that the log file can be kept in Microsoft Excel and that interaction can be monitored using NodeXL. The results of this study broaden our understanding on the social media phenomenon by providing a distinctive perspective. Moreover, the results reinforce the utility of the SECI cycle in a practical high-tech SME context.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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