Managing knowledge through social media: modelling an entrepreneurial approach for Scottish SMEs and beyond

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This paper conceptualises Social Media Use (SMU) as a contributory, Knowledge Management (KM) tool towards entrepreneurial behaviour amongst Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Although an underdeveloped concept in entrepreneurship, our conceptual analysis of KM presents evidence which links SMU as complementary to changing KM conventions.

Pertinent KM and SMU literature of the SME context were reviewed to form an understanding of this context. Employing a mixed method approach, a pragmatic, thematic investigation of SMU-enhanced KM was facilitated.

Substantial benefits of innovative SMU, as a management tool towards SME entrepreneurialism, were witnessed. SMU enhances the administration of real-time knowledge, encouraging creativity. However, longer-term costs of employing requisite personnel, and anticipated organisational restructuring, presents challenges. The paper identifies the potentials of social media technologies in overcoming KM issues. We propose a reasoned process model towards entrepreneurial exploitation by acknowledging systematic phases of Research, Concept, Institutionalise, Develop, Target and Assess, referred to as the RCIDTA model.

We argue that KM, through social media, facilitates interactions to execute innovative processes within SMEs ever-changing infrastructures. It also informs nascent entrepreneurs, in considering the benefits of systematic KM, and novel SMU, opportunities. The RCIDTA model for SMEs can be utilised in improving knowledge eco-systems of entrepreneurial SMEs, promoting innovation towards sustained organisation growth.

This paper embraces the growing approach of SMEs applying SMU. SMU and its cost efficiency supports start-up activity. This paper highlights central issues concerning the exploitation of sector specific KM, including organisational strategy, structure, brand formation, fiscal and personnel resource allocation, and market share.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-328
Number of pages26
JournalBaltic Journal of Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018


  • Innovation
  • Knowledge management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social media
  • SME
  • ICT


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