Mentoring facilitates the transfer of tacit knowledge from one individual to another within organisations. The effective transfer of tacit knowledge, through the mentorship process, provides organisations with a competitive advantage.
There are a number of challenges experienced by organisations in the tacit knowledge transfer process. Challenges such as time, impact on productivity, ease of transfer and storage of such valuable knowledge.
Social media provides a platform for communication, networking and capabilities that allow users to store multiple content such audio, video, image and text. Social media also consists of interactive networks which provide a learning platform that allows reading, editing or adding to existing content.
This report explores the role of social media and the transfer of tacit knowledge in mentorship through qualitative and exploratory methodology. The focus of the study was on a single, global, multi-cultural organisation with an established mentorship program and with tacit knowledge transfer as one of its strategic objectives while also using social media capabilities internally and externally.
A total of 14 in-depth Interviews were conducted with mentorship program participants and different influential structures in strategy, human resources, social media strategy, including knowledge management specialists within the organisation.
While there is no doubt that mentoring facilitates the transfer of tacit knowledge, it is also evident that social media is a powerful knowledge management tool that scaffolds an interactive, knowledge-sharing culture within organisations. In addition, social media is not formally used in mentorship, this presents a huge opportunity to apply social media as a secondary mechanism to transfer and store knowledge in mentorship.