Knowledge Transfer in Doctoral Education During the Pandemic Time: An Exploratory Study of the PhD Students’ Experiences


  • Rocco Agrifoglio University of Naples Parthenope
  • Paola Briganti
  • Maria Ferrara
  • Maria Luisa Iavarone
  • Rocco Reina
  • Luisa Varriale
  • Anna Maria Melina



Knowledge transfer, doctoral education, LMT, TMX, POS, media richness


The research aims to explore how PhD students interacted with professors and peers and transferred knowledge during pandemic time. We firstly aim to provide an overview of communication media used by students, as well as to classify them for different kinds, social presence, and media richness. Furthermore, our research also aims to explore how doctoral students took their courses by interacting with professors and with peers, in terms of learning (KT) and social exchange relations (LMX, TMX, POS), through online learning platforms and communication media. We conducted exploratory research on 25 PhD students from 5 Italian PhD Programs in ‘economic and statistical sciences’ area. Data was collected through (a) the focus group interview with PhD students for collecting their opinions and experiences on the usage of media for communicating with professors and peers and (b) an online questionnaire aimed to measure their experiences or perceptions on technology usage and social relations. Results shown that PhD students used e-learning platform for communicating with peers and professors, so developing good social relations -even at a distance- which have encouraged knowledge transfer among them.