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The Effect of Social Media-Enabled Mentoring on Online Tacit Knowledge Acquisition within Sustainable Organizations: A Moderated Mediation Model

1
School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
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Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of Beijing, Beijing 100081, China
3
School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020616 (registering DOI)
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 2 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Tacit knowledge is an important strategic resource to the sustainable development of organizations. Although scholars and practitioners have noticed the growing use of social media in transferring tacit knowledge, extant empirical research has been fairly mute about this phenomenon. This study is novel in that it explores when and how social media used for mentoring (i.e., an emerging electronic mentoring) promotes tacit knowledge acquisition in sustainable organizations. This study develops a framework and proposes six hypotheses, which predict how social media-enabled mentoring promotes tacit knowledge acquisition through two mediators. Furthermore, two social media characteristics moderate the two mediating processes. The authors conducted a three-wave longitudinal survey in 45 sustainable companies and obtained 156 valid cases. All of the hypotheses are supported. The findings show that the effects of social media-enabled mentoring on tacit knowledge acquisition are mediated by both an affective learning mechanism (i.e., liking) and cognitive learning mechanism (i.e., shared mental model). Moreover, the two mediation processes are moderated by two capabilities of social media (i.e., social presence and synchronicity). This research bridges extant e-mentoring literature and sustainable TK management literature. It also enlightens managers to effectively integrate social media and mentoring to improve TKA in sustainable organizations. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media-enabled mentoring; shared mental model; liking; synchronicity; social presence; tacit knowledge acquisition social media-enabled mentoring; shared mental model; liking; synchronicity; social presence; tacit knowledge acquisition
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Chen, Z.; Vogel, D.; Yang, T.; Deng, J. The Effect of Social Media-Enabled Mentoring on Online Tacit Knowledge Acquisition within Sustainable Organizations: A Moderated Mediation Model. Sustainability 2020, 12, 616.

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