The study investigates the impact of the use of web 2.0 applications on knowledge transfer in the Cocoa Sector of Ghana. For organizations to survive the turbulence of the emerging business environment, they need to create and transfer new knowledge. When knowledge is transferred successfully, it creates organizational capability and also serves as a driving force for organizational knowledge creation. Most organizations have developed measures to improve their knowledge transfer capabilities. Transferring knowledge via social media websites has received widespread attention by organizations and corporate leaders and also within academic literature. However, in most developing countries like Ghana, knowledge transfer still remains a major challenge, especially in the Cocoa Sector.
The over-reliance on face-to-face based mechanisms for knowledge transfer and creation in the cocoa industry in Ghana is having adverse influence for the various knowledge transfer activities in the industry. Most cocoa farmers do not have access to research-based knowledge and new technologies needed for improved levels of productivity due to lack of availability of extension services, which in turn is affected by inadequate resources and personnel. Since cocoa farmers and extension officers are only able to interact via face-to-face communication. There is therefore the call for the need to adopt new technologies to supplement the existing mechanisms used for knowledge transfer and creation endeavors in the industry. Most organizations are adopting web 2.0 tools for the enhancement of their knowledge management activities. And the question we are asking is would the cocoa industry be well- served by introducing web 2.0 technologies for knowledge transfer and creation purposes?
The current study investigates this curiosity by applying the media richness theory and the theory of organizational knowledge creation. According to the Media Richness Theory, the selection of media for a given task depends on the richness of the media and the characteristics of the task. The four modes of knowledge transfer theorized by Nonaka and co, require the use of media with varying degrees of richness. Firstly, the study proposed that the usage of web 2.0 applications for the different modes of knowledge transfer can be affected by their media richness. Secondary, the relationship between the use of web 2.0 applications for the knowledge conversion modes and knowledge transfer/creation can be moderated by the characteristics of the task to be accomplished by the transferred knowledge. The study was conducted using a mixed method approach with a survey questionnaire. The data was collected from a population of 357, which comprised of 82 researchers and 275 extension agents from CRIG, CHED and SPU, which represent three key department of COCOBOD responsible for the creation and transfer of knowledge in the industry. The proposed model of the study could be used for the selection of the appropriate media for the different modes of knowledge transfer towards attainment of knowledge transfer and creation in the industry.