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Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Second Edition by MARJORIE A. LYLES, MARK EASTERBY-SMITH

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The Role of Web 2.0 Technologies in Support of Organizational Knowledge Management

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.

(O’Reilly, 2006)

Coined by Tim O’Reilly (2005), the term Web 2.0 refers to applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperatibility, and collaboration on the World Wide Web (Wikipedia.org). Web 2.0 has also been defined as ‘the philosophy of mutually maximizing collective intelligence and added value for each participant by formalized and dynamic information sharing and creation’ (Hoegg, Martignoni, Meckel, and Stanoevska-Slabeva, 2006: 13). Each of these definitions focuses more on participation than technology. The linkage between knowledge management and Web 2.0 can be seen in the shift from process and stand-alone systems to network and collaboration.

A decade ago, we could identify specific types of systems that were designed to support individual knowledge processes. Knowledge management systems (KMS) can have core functionality that supports the coding and sharing of documents in repositories, the development of knowledge directories, and the creation of knowledge networks (Alavi and Leidner, 2001). Reflecting the four knowledge processes, Alavi and Tiwana (2003) specified ...

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