Examining SCRM approach and its role in facilitating tacit knowledge sharing & creation, and exploring its integration effects

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2016-03-30
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Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 33/2016
Tacit knowledge resides in a person's mind, which is highly personal and very difficult to interpret & transfer. It can be transferred if individuals reside in the same environment for an extended period of time i.e. through shared experiences. Therefore, finding the right method to acquire tacit knowledge has always been difficult for organizations, as face-to-face interactions or sharing experiences in the same environment is not achievable all the time (due to geographic constraints, lack of mobility, etc.). Over and above that, tacit knowledge sharing through Information Technology (IT) and IT tools is extremely limited or totally impossible. But with the rise of the social web (online collaboration tools, social media, discussion forums, interactive blogs, etc.), tacit knowledge can be created and shared frequently. The main objective of this research is to investigate Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) approach and its role in facilitating tacit knowledge sharing & creation and the modification it brings about, due to the integration of social media activities. Based on literature review, in-depth interviews (qualitative approach) and data analysis, this research revisits and explains the concept of SCRM approach, and examines the key enablers required for SCRM approach to exist. Following the above starting point, this research explores if SCRM approach facilitates tacit knowledge creation and if yes, how. To do so, this research adopts Nonaka's 'Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Conversion & Creation' and investigates if SCRM approach facilitates all the four modes – Socialization, Externalization, Combination, and Internalization – in the SECI model (Micro-Level Analysis) and if yes, how. This study also examines online collaborative platforms or 'online spaces' implemented under SCRM approach that facilitate tacit knowledge sharing and creation. Simultaneously, this study explores the relationship of online spaces with BA', the shared context for knowledge creation (Micro-Level Analysis). This research adopts 'Mechanism of Co-ordination' to examine the effects of social media on R&D department's structure. It also describes new processes that are integrated within the New Product Development (NPD) process (Meso-Level Analysis). The integration of SECI model of knowledge creation and BA' in an SCRM setting is useful both to academia and practitioners. This research adds to the existing literature, which believes social media can facilitate tacit knowledge sharing and creation, and also helps practitioners understand the importance of generating customer knowledge through social media rather than relying on historical and transactional data.
Supervising professor
Rossi, Matti, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Information and Service Economy, Finland
Tacit Knowledge, Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM), Knowledge Creation, Social Media
Other note
  • [Publication 1]: Durgam, P. (2015). Chapter 17. From Web 2.0 to Social CRM: the place and value. Managing Emerging Technologies for Socio-Economic Impact, 354. E-Book: Managing Emerging Technologies for Socio-Economic Impact. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. The full text is included in the pdf-file of the dissertation.
  • [Publication 2]: Durgam, P., & Sinha, A. (2014). Positive Disruptions Caused by SCRM Activities in the SECI process of Knowledge Creation: Insights from Four Case Studies. Published in the 27th BLED e-Conference (e-Ecosystems), 2014. The full text is included in the pdf-file of the dissertation.
  • [Publication 3]: Durgam, P (2014). Online Spaces satisfying BA’ as a Shared Context: Insights from Ten Case Studies. Proceedings of the 37th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS 37), Ringsted, Denmark, 10-13 August. The full text is included in the pdf-file of the dissertation.
  • [Publication 4]: Pacauskas, D., Durgam, P., & Fomin, V. V. (2014). How Companies Can Modify R&D for Integrating Social Media Activities into New Products Development. Published in 27th Bled e-Conference (e-Ecosystems). The full text is included in the pdf-file of the dissertation.