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Knowledge Interaction: Social Capital and Electronic Knowledge Repository Utilization Open Access

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This dissertation explored the relationship between the three social capital measures of extensity, upper reachability, and range, as well as the electronic knowledge repository (EKR) utilization elements of knowledge seeking and knowledge contribution via a range of specific EKR functionalities. This quantitative research study consisted of a regression analysis of the social capital scores generated via the position generator survey instrument, which were compared to the usage metadata available from the EKR server logs. The study population consisted of a business unit of a U.S.-based multinational information technology corporation that utilized the Oracle Social Network EKR as a means of facilitating business processes and knowledge management.The guiding theoretical constructs for this study were Lin’s conceptualization of instrumental and expressive social capital outcomes, which were then coupled with Lin and Huang’s articulation of EKR utilization elements. This measurement study sought to propose and validate a means by which the social capital implications of EKR use could be identified and measured. A classification rubric was developed to aid the scholar and practitioner alike in categorizing specific EKR functionalities.The findings of this study suggest that a relationship exists between an EKR user’s social capital and his or her EKR behaviors as recorded in the server logs. The resulting methodology may serve as a theoretically based and transparent method of measuring social capital in the digital environment. Hypothesis testing revealed that the social capital measure of extensity was a significant predictor of EKR functionality usage. However, the lack of variability of the remaining two social capital measures hindered the analysis of the overall model. Based on these findings, recommendations were offered for improving the accuracy of social capital measurement efforts within the digital environment of the EKR.

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