The knowledge management (KM) literature largely focuses on the explicit and formal representation of knowledge in computer-based KM systems. Informal KM practices are widespread, but less is known about them. This paper aims to redress this imbalance by exploring the use of interactive information technology (IT) applications for informal knowledge sharing (KS). We develop theoretical propositions to highlight the key facets of informal KS processes, and illustrate them through an interpretive case-study analysis of KS in two public relations firms in China. We then discuss the implications of our findings for practice in both China and beyond. Finally, we recommend a research agenda to further investigate informal, relationship-based knowledge sharing.
- relationship-based knowledge management
- Chinese management
- social networks
- transactive memory
- interactive IT