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Title: An Absorptive Capacity Perspective of Organizational Learning through Social Media: Evidence from the Ghanaian Fashion Industry
Authors: Boateng, R.
Effah, J.
Owusu- Bempah, E.
University of Ghana, College of Humanities Business School Department of Operations and Management Information Systems
Keywords: Organizational Learning
Fashion Industry
Social Media
Absorptive Capacity Theory
Issue Date: Jul-2016
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: Learning is key to the advancement of organizations. Organizations that learn have the tendency to adapt to change better than organizations which do not learn. Organizational learning can be facilitated by social media, which is a component of Web 2.0 technologies. Social media is composed of tools, applications and web applications, which have the potential of absorbing external knowledge. The Absorptive Capacity Theory was used as the theoretical lens for this study to help analyze how organizations absorb new knowledge using social media tools and applications; and the extent to which the usage of social media makes knowledge absorption possible in the Ghanaian fashion industry. The mixed method approach was used in this study, a survey of fashion designers and employees numbering 196 was carried out in 55 fashion firms whereas two fashion firms were used in a case study. Data analysis was performed using SPSS and Structural Equation Modeling. This study adds to the few existing studies in the field of Information Systems (IS) that have studied Organizational Learning and social media use. In terms of originality, it is the first study that has studied organizational learning through social media using the Absorptive Capacity Theory (ACT) as its theoretical lens. The findings from the study suggest that Ghanaian fashion designers do not intensively use social media to assimilate knowledge but rather to acquire, transform and exploit knowledge. The popular social media applications used by Ghanaian fashion designers include; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogger, YouTube, Printrest, Flickr, Google Plus, and Tumblr. Facebook for instance is used on a daily basis by most Ghanaian fashion designers. Fashion designers use social media to acquire, transform and exploit knowledge through research, interaction, communication, and marketing with suppliers, customers and other fashion designers. They are able to gather information on fashion trends, styles and customer preferences through these social media web applications. The study will further serve as a guide for future IS research on Organizational Learning (OL) and social media. This study discussed the use of social media for learning among organizations in the Ghanaian fashion industry. However, future research can extend this work by looking at Organizational Learning and social media use in a different industry.
Description: Thesis (MPhil) - University of Ghana, 2016
Appears in Collections:Department of Operations and Management Information Systems

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