This is a complex topic for which only a few simple pros and cons are offered here. See below for a link to a more detailed coverage.
- Administrative overhead
- Potential flame wars and accidental disclosure of personal or corporate data
- Need for curation
- Can require coordination with other departments
- Uneven adoption across departments, groups, participants
- Can develop into side issues or irrelevant political or social discussions that are unhelpful
- Some users may need training and guidance
- Managers are often leery of social engagement on this channel, which fosters distrust of other intranet resources
- De facto knowledge sharing resource for organizations that do not have dedicated knowledge management specialists
- Offers better, more mature integration with other corporate knowledge resources such as FAQs, help systems for enterprise apps
- Captures personnel and HR related issues for followup by HR and line managers
- Foster knowledge reuse
- Nurtures Just-in-Time knowledge delivery for enterprise that have semi-automated workflow
- There are numerous domain-specific advantages, e.g., helping with gray area HIPAA compliance questions from lightly trained personnel
- In-place training for onboarding, specialized tasks, and one-on-one coaching
Advantages outweigh disadvantages except where runaway disputes tax organizational resources to curb them.
For more on this subject, see my chapter on the social intranet for knowledge management in this text, Harnessing Social Media as a Knowledge Management Tool.