Extending Social Capital through Online Social Networks (OSNs) in Rural Australian SMEs

Rachelle Bosua, Nina Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


Geographically isolated rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face multiple
challenges in an increasingly digitised, and networked business environment. Online
Social Networking (OSN) tools and technologies may bridge time and distance gaps,
complementing face-to-face knowledge sharing and the development of Social Capital
(SC). We followed a qualitative case study approach to identify how rural Australian
SMEs extend their knowledge sharing activities and SC through the use of OSNs. Our
findings suggest that rural SMEs’ adoption and use of OSNs is a three-stage journey
starting with no OSN use, followed by marginal OSN use, and ultimately active OSN
use. We highlight that SC development through OSNs require: i) a willingness to
extend face-to-face knowledge sharing in SNs to OSNs, ii) a planned OSN
communication and networking strategy, iii) introduction of multiple OSN channels to
interact with customers/clients and stakeholders, and iv) guarding against the
unbounded sharing of competitive knowledge in OSNs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICIS 2017 PROCEEDINGS
PublisherAIS Electronic Library
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780996683159
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 38th International Conference on Information Systems: Transforming Society with Digital Innovation - South Korea, Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 10 Dec 201713 Jan 2019


ConferenceThe 38th International Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleICIS 2017
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • social capital, social media, knowledge sharing


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