- Volume 10 Issue 3
The purpose of this study is to empirically analyze the impact that occurs when Korean organizations make practical use of various information technology tools and systems in the knowledge management process, such as sharing, learning and creating knowledge. Such a process is usually made through online and offline knowledge management activities. This paper also verifies how the externalization of tacit knowledge, and the internalization of explicit knowledge via the Internet and offline socialization activities have altered the mechanisms of knowledge transfers inside organizations. For the research, a survey was conducted on the satisfaction and usability levels of information technology, and the impact of IT usage on the results of knowledge management activities and knowledge transfers. 622 Korean organizations were surveyed, including major listed firms and public organizations. The results were examined as an online/offline integration process using SECI's Model proposed by Nonaka (1994, 1995). The analysis shows that information technology satisfaction and the usage of information technology help accelerate the pace of the knowledge flow and amplify the volume of the knowledge transfer by boosting the externalization and internalization processes-also known as knowledge management activities. However. there is no distinct correlation between information technology and socialization, an offline knowledge transferal activity. In particular, the quality of knowledge-an end result of knowledge transfer-does not improve merely by the externalization of online knowledge and instead requires the internalization of knowledge processes. Above all, the research reveals that offline socialization processes vastly contribute to the improvement of knowledge quality. This paper suggests that in order to ensure a transfer of quality knowledge, an organization or a company should focus on the use of information technology rather than the satisfaction level of information technology, and that knowledge transfers via the Internet has limitations in creating high quality of knowledge. For an organization to ensure the transfer of high-quality knowledge, the organization should not entirely hinge the transfer of knowledge online, as it is essential to have an offline method-a form of socialization such as a 'community of practice.'