Improving Knowledge Sharing through Social Network Analysis


Knowledge management systems are critical for capturing, retaining, and communicating results from projects and knowledge of staff, preventing knowledge drain, and providing a basis for lessons learned type training. This research focuses on the development of a knowledge management system using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to improve on methods to organize, disseminate, and share knowledge for a large government healthcare organization, enhancing their process improvement initiative. To better enable this knowledge sharing, a survey instrument consisting of a narrative interview protocol and follow-on questionnaire is established to collect data from key stakeholders. The goal of the survey instrument is to interview key players using the narrative interview protocol through focus groups and one-on-ones, and then deploy an extended questionnaire. The narrative protocol is first used with focus groups formed from the early adopters of process improvement methods to understand how stakeholders viewed and implemented changes to their work environment. Using these results, a Likert-style version of the questionnaire is provided to all users. Based on the survey data, social network mapping is performed using a SNA tool, and analysis was performed relevant to basic network properties, characteristics of relations, and other relevant network features. The goal of this research is to identify key players, document how information is shared within the organization, recommend methods of information sharing to retain knowledge, and measure the impact of the improvements.

Meeting Name

33rd Annual International Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management -- Agile Management: Embracing Change and Uncertainty in Engineering Management (2012: Oct. 17-20, Virginia Beach, VA)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Communicating Results; Healthcare Organizations; Information Sharing; Interview Protocols; Knowledge Management System; Process Improvement Initiatives; Process Improvement Methods; Survey Instruments; Knowledge Acquisition; Knowledge Based Systems; Knowledge Management; Personnel Training; Surveys; Social Networking (Online)

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2012 American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM), All rights reserved.

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