Article

Ethnographic study of collaborative knowledge work

IBM Software Group, One Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA
Ibm Systems Journal (Impact Factor: 1.29). 02/2006; DOI: 10.1147/sj.454.0759
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT We present an ethnographic study in which we examine the ways collaborative knowledge work gets done in a process-oriented environment. The purpose of the study is to identify the kinds of support that knowledge workers could benefit from and to make recommendations for tools that might provide such support. The participants in this study, knowledge workers in various business domains, work in a collaborative environment; their skills are in their areas of expertise rather than computer science and programming. The data we collected are based on field interviews, on observation sessions, and on validation sessions using prototypes. We analyzed the field data using selected principles from grounded theory, and the results of each cycle were used to guide the research in subsequent cycles. In our findings we describe how knowledge workers develop their own strategies and techniques for getting their work done in complex, dynamic environments in which prescribed work processes serve only as reference models. By presenting instances of such environments from our study data, we illustrate how such individualized work processes are created and demonstrate the need for new supporting technologies and tools.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
58 Views
  • Source
    01/2008;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the depth, erudition, and rigor of contemporary research on knowledge management as a causal factor that influences the ultimate outcome of multinational corporation (MNC) expansion, bounded by the confines of information and communication technology (ICT) competences identified as behavioral, business, and technological. Through discussion highlighting the dominant knowledge management (KM) research themes within the milieu of the global firm, readers will gain definitive and practical insight into relevant topics that may be used to stimulate development of growth strategies for the firm.
    Multinational Business Review. 01/2007; 15(3).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Responsive supply networks must shift from traditional hierarchies to more holistic supply chain-spanning management systems to remain competitive. Knowledge work is fundamental to this transition, but little is written about the roles of knowledge workers in logistics and supply chain management and their influence on agility. Adopting a Socio-Technical Systems approach, this research analyses empirical case study data to identify and evaluate supply chain knowledge workers. We find that supply chain knowledge workers maintain supply chain performance and improve it by compensating for inherent operational instabilities and changes in supply and demand. Hence, knowledge workers contribute to the adaptability, responsiveness, agility and resilience of supply chains. We propose that, given the opportunity, supply chain knowledge workers could enable transition to the emerging sense and respond paradigm through improved utilisation of their expertise. This research has implications for supply chain design, practice and education. Thus, further research is recommended to develop work systems that encourage greater scope for supply chain knowledge work.
    International Journal of Agile Systems and Management 01/2007; 2(4):376-392.

Full-text

Download
0 Downloads
Available from