University of Oulu

Karin Väyrynen , Riitta Hekkala & Tuula Liias (2013): Knowledge Protection Challenges of Social Media Encountered by Organizations, Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 23:1-2, 34-55.

Knowledge protection challenges of social media encountered by organizations

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Author: Väyrynen, Karin1; Hekkala, Riitta2; Liias, Tuula3
Organizations: 1Department of Information Processing Science, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Business, Department of Information and Service Economy, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
3Information Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2012
Publish Date: 2019-04-01


Although social media (SM) represents a new means of creating and sharing knowledge, it also presents new challenges for protecting confidential information and other data that companies do not want to share. However, knowledge protection and security-oriented knowledge management processes related to SM have received little attention in previous studies. This research attempts to close that gap by examining which information and knowledge protection challenges arise from employees’ use of SM, why they arise, and how organizations can address them. The main contribution of this study is a framework that integrates three types of knowledge protection challenges (information security challenges; reputation challenge; management challenges) with five special characteristics of SM (information distribution speed; blurry audience; merging of private and professional identity; easily collectible information; generation transition), which explain why these challenges arise. In addition, the framework presents eight questions that organizations should answer to help them address the three types of knowledge protection challenges. Our findings have practical implications: by answering the eight questions proposed in this study, companies can create knowledge management and protection policies for SM. Furthermore, the findings in this study open up several future research questions.

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Series: Journal of organizational computing and electronic commerce
ISSN: 1091-9392
ISSN-E: 1532-7744
ISSN-L: 1091-9392
Volume: 23
Issue: 1-2
Pages: 34 - 55
DOI: 10.1080/10919392.2013.748607
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce on 15.11.2012, available online: