Article

Using enterprise social networks as a knowledge management tool in higher education

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Abstract

Purpose The management of organisational knowledge and the promotion of staff knowledge sharing is largely neglected in higher education institutions. This study examines how enterprise social networks can enable staff knowledge sharing in communities of practice in that context. Design/methodology/approach The study is framed as an Action Research project, covering three cycles over a 12 month period. During the Diagnosing phase, a conceptual model was developed for empirical testing. Data was collected through 30 semi-structured interviews and a number of focus groups. This was supplemented by content analysis and reflective journaling. Findings The findings support the conceptual model and provide insight into the antecedents necessary for the creation of an enterprise social network enabled knowledge sharing environment, the motivators for and barriers to participation, and the perceived organisational and individual benefits of increased staff knowledge sharing activity. Research limitations/implications As the study has a higher education focus, all of the findings may not be generalizable to other types of organisation. Further development of the conceptual model and testing in other contextual settings will yield greater generalizability. Practical implications A number of findings have practical implications for the management of higher education institutions, such as the evidence of a divide between faculty and other staff. In general, the study findings provide an opportunity for educationalists to better understand the scope and impact of employing social media platforms for knowledge sharing. Originality/value This paper adds to the growing body of work on organisational implementations of social media, and should be of interest to practitioners and researchers undertaking similar projects.

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... The role of the technology herein becomes vital, as it accords the ability to design and provide modules for leveraging the human interaction with different aspects of the knowledge process chain (Christensen and Pedersen, 2018;Mäntymäkia and Riemer, 2016). Technology by allowing people to create, collaborate, refer, store and share within the confines of the system, therefore, acts as a sustainable knowledge ecosystem (Niall and Duane, 2017;Richter and Riemer, 2013;Steininger et al., 2010). ...
... ESNs are hosted by organizations on their internal networks and are exclusive to the employees of an organization thereby, bestowing the organizations with a considerable degree of control toward concerns such as secondary data theft, breach of privacy, corporate espionage and malware commonly associated with public SNS usage (Leonardi et al., 2013;Mäntymäkia and Reimer, 2016). ESNs emphasize the development of gregarious cross-connected relational networks among its users to provide them unprecedented ability to collaborate, create and share knowledge (Gardner, 2013;Hacker et al., 2017;Niall and Duane, 2017). The networked structure also accords them the ability for crowdsourcing of ideas to solve complex problems innovatively. ...
... The constant need for information exchange amongst these teams is aptly answered for by ESNs, which provides a less costly, mobile, standardized and userfriendly interface with the ability for multiple system integrations (Von Krogh, 2012). ESNs, as a result, has become the technology of choice for intra-organizational communication and a key enabler for facilitating knowledge sharing (Aboelmaged, 2018;Ellison et al., 2015;Niall and Duane, 2017). A considerable emphasis in scholarly research has, therefore, been laid on to understand and highlight the role of ESNs in facilitating knowledge sharing in workplaces (Aboelmaged, 2018;Al-Busaidi and Olfman, 2017;Gibbs et al., 2013;Goswami and Agrawal, 2018;Leonardi et al., 2013;Majchrzak et al., 2013;Oostervink et al., 2016;Zhao and Chen, 2013). ...
Article
Purpose Enterprise Social Network (ESN) systems have emerged as the technology of choice to bolster and support organizational efforts for harnessing embedded knowledge. However, a lack of understanding about it limits the optimization of its potential. Hence, this paper aims to assess the role of hedonic motivation, network externalities (NE) and top management support in conjugation with the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology theory to understand ESN’s usage for knowledge sharing. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from 187 ESN users through a survey questionnaire and subsequently analyzed using variance-based structural equation modeling using the partial least squares method. Findings ESNs are used both for utilitarian and hedonic purposes. Furthermore, the results also bring out the importance of externalities arising from an extensive network of users and complimentary services, as well as support regarding resources and recognition from the top management toward reinforcing the benefits of using ESNs. Research limitations/implications This study advances earlier knowledge by assessing the actual usage of ESNs for knowledge sharing. It takes into consideration multiple input variables, namely, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, NE amongst others to best resonate with the key factors driving its adoption and usage by an individual. However, because of the cross-sectional research design, causality can only be inferred. Practical implications The organizations are recommended to have in place the measures for attaining optimal usage of ESNs, and in turn, witness knowledge moves around in ways unfathomable. Steps should be taken to develop tools and ecosystems to provide users affordances for both increasing productivity, as well as opportunities for gaining pleasure. Originality/value This study is one of its kind effort to synthesize the knowledge about the ESNs in an Indian context. It provides fascinating insights into the determinants of intention and usage of ESNs for knowledge sharing.
... SN tools support three activities: recognition of knowledge needs, knowledge-seeking and navigation procedures and knowledge utilization and sharing (Kim and Benbasat, 2012). The extent of literature has highlighted the antecedents of KS practices such as trust, social networking, effective communication, leadership, supportive culture, collaboration, financial and non-financial rewards (Adeinat and Abdulfatah, 2019;Aslam et al., 2018aAslam et al., , 2018bMuqadas et al., 2016;Muqadas et al., 2017;Corcoran and Duane, 2017;Fauzi et al., 2019). Although these studies have highlighted that in the absence of these organizational contextual factors, organization can face more challenges for fostering KS practices (Adeinat and Abdulfatah, 2019;Aslam et al., 2018aAslam et al., , 2018bMuqadas et al., 2016;Muqadas et al., 2017;Corcoran and Duane, 2017;Fauzi et al., 2019). ...
... The extent of literature has highlighted the antecedents of KS practices such as trust, social networking, effective communication, leadership, supportive culture, collaboration, financial and non-financial rewards (Adeinat and Abdulfatah, 2019;Aslam et al., 2018aAslam et al., , 2018bMuqadas et al., 2016;Muqadas et al., 2017;Corcoran and Duane, 2017;Fauzi et al., 2019). Although these studies have highlighted that in the absence of these organizational contextual factors, organization can face more challenges for fostering KS practices (Adeinat and Abdulfatah, 2019;Aslam et al., 2018aAslam et al., , 2018bMuqadas et al., 2016;Muqadas et al., 2017;Corcoran and Duane, 2017;Fauzi et al., 2019). However, these studies hardly discuss how information technologies such as social networking applications can address the challenges of KS practices especially in a culture that is based on uncertainty avoidance, power distance and collectivism. ...
... The use of SN applications has emerged across many disciplines such as management and organizational/industrial psychology, communication strategies, information technology, psychology, law, marketing, politics, public health and literature review based studies in the context of human resource management topics (Aslam et al., 2018a(Aslam et al., , 2018bMuqadas et al., 2016;Muqadas et al., 2017;Corcoran and Duane, 2017;Fauzi et al., 2019). Until recently, researchers have found very limited literature, which has examined the impact of SN applications on fostering the antecedents of KS in developing countries, and most of the literature is scattered and disparate (Aslam et al., 2018a(Aslam et al., , 2018bMuqadas et al., 2017). ...
Article
Purpose Many organizations are struggling to achieve competitiveness due to lack of knowledge sharing (KS) practices. The sustainability of the service sector is linked to KS practices and creativity. Therefore, to survive in a dynamic business environment, universities have to formulate and implement such practices and innovative learning systems. This paper aims to highlight how social media networking apps can be used efficiently and effectively to support the antecedents of KS among the employees in public and private universities. Design/methodology/approach This study is based on a positivistic approach and a quantitative research design. A survey was carried out with employees at public and private universities. The respondents were chosen based on simple random sampling with the purpose of increasing the validity and generalizability of the results in the context of university settings and for other sectors as well. Findings Certain individual and organizational factors have been found, which have been supported by social networking tools. These factors can enhance KS practices, such as informal relationships and social networking, effective communication and collaboration, mutual trust and the intention to share knowledge, the KS culture and new ideas. The results of this study reveal that social networking applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Facebook, Research-gate, YouTube and personal blogs are more productive in supporting the antecedents of KS stated above in university settings. Research limitations/implications Social networking applications have received attention because executives and researchers are increasingly focusing on finding new ways to use social networking tools for business purposes. The effective and efficient use of social networking tools helps organizations to foster knowledge amongst employees to address various critical issues, such as knowledge hoarding, lower levels of skills and knowledge, lower levels of communication and employee involvement, a lack of the intention to share knowledge and resistance toward the adoption of new technology. Originality/value There is rare literature available on how social networking tools can support the antecedents of KS in university settings. Most of such literature has investigated the link between social media and KS using a systematic literature and qualitative research approach. This research is based on empirical study and it is unique as it investigates the hitherto under-researched issue of the adoption of social networking applications to foster the antecedents of KS in university settings.
... More specifically, information and communication technologies have been repeatedly studied as a crucial supporting factor of knowledge sharing along with more interpersonal variables such as culture, structure, reward systems and trust among members (Farooq, 2018). Despite that technology investment and development to support explicit and tacit knowledge sharing remain uneven (Ting et al., 2011;Corcoran and Duane, 2017). ...
... Technology means nothing if companies do not know how to integrate it with their business operations. Even so, technology investment and development to support explicit and tacit knowledge sharing remain uneven (Ting-Toomey, 2012;Corcoran and Duane, 2017). As noted earlier in the paper, decision-makers are have been hesitant to invest in KM and IT to support KM but need to realize that the investments only pay off if employees are motivated to use the systems. ...
Article
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Technology makes knowledge management easier. Knowledge sharing is essential for organizational development. Job satisfaction fosters knowledge sharing. Hence, this study aims to develop an understanding of the mutual relationship between knowledge sharing and job satisfaction when both are predicted by information technology (IT)-competency dimensions such as IT-operations, IT-knowledge and IT-infrastructure in the context of company performance. The results were achieved based on the examination of 910 Polish knowledge workers with different roles and experiences across various sectors. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling method. The findings suggest that the company’s IT-competency drives job satisfaction and knowledge sharing more strongly for IT industry knowledge workers than for other industries. Also, a stronger mediation function of knowledge sharing and job satisfaction is observed for IT-operations when the IT industry is controlled. The main value of the study is the empirical evidence that the influence of a particular IT-competency dimension varies for industries when it comes to job satisfaction and knowledge sharing processes.
... Management support, recognition and reward are also significant predictors for sharing knowledge and supporting innovation in HEIs (Fidalgo-Blanco, Sein-Echaluce, & Garcia-Penalvo, 2014; Seonghee & Boryung, 2008;Sohail & Daud, 2009). Further, technology, primarily social media and social networks have an increasing role in knowledge sharing effectiveness in HEIs (Corcoran, 2017;Corcoran, 2019;Brady, Holcomb, & Smith, 2010;Ractham & Firpo, 2011;Selwyn, 2012). However, there is limited rigorous research into factors that inhibit knowledge sharing effectiveness in HEIs in developing countries such as Vietnam, that has the second lowest labor productivity rate in South East Asia (ILOSTAT, 2020), and a low quantum of research publications (Worldbank, 2012). ...
Chapter
This research reveals the Vietnamese higher education institution (HEI) environment to examine knowledge sharing issues in developing countries. It compares knowledge management (KM) governance mechanisms in HEIs in a developing country with KM governance mechanisms used widely in developed countries. The authors position this research in the contextual of management capacity, infrastructure, and training issues. This chapter considers how strategies to develop and implement knowledge transfer are both led and governed in Vietnamese HEIs. Data were analyzed and triangulated from interviews, focus groups from different universities, and government and university websites in Vietnam. Four significant factors are identified in the KM process—bureaucratic management, hierarchical governance patterns, lack of autonomy, and underdeveloped KM systems—as contributory factors. The results are compared with extant KM governance literature and finds that knowledge is managed through bureaucratic mechanisms. Vietnamese academics rarely share their knowledge critical to research and research-led teaching.
... social media tools has enabled CoPs to become virtual Communities of Practice (vCoPs) based on creating inter-or intra-organisational virtual groups (Corcoran & Duane, 2016). Unlike traditional CoPs, within which face-to-face interactions occur between members who are likely to know each other, vCoPs potentially imply a much larger group of users who may be geographically dispersed (Brown & Duguid, 2001). ...
Thesis
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This work is concerned with the exploration of social technologies relevant to the sharing of tacit knowledge within the public sector. The findings derive from analysis of empirical data collected via survey research and twenty qualitative interviews with the members of an online knowledge sharing platform dedicated to those working within public sector bodies, mainly in Scotland. The main contribution of the thesis is that it extends understanding of how social technologies render tacit knowledge visible by 1) providing access to online interactions for geographically dispersed individuals, 2) storing online social interactions, making them reusable, and 3) increasing network growth. The visibility of such tacit knowledge enhances knowledge awareness. This contributes to collective intelligence and learning processes and enables new collaborations. The concept of Ba, a Japanese concept from 1998 that emphasises the influence that contexts can have over the sharing of tacit knowledge is updated with respect to the use of social media tools. These two contributions are significant because previous research in Knowledge Management has not extensively investigated the ways in which social technologies contribute to the sharing of tacit knowledge within the public sector. They also emphasise the added value of social media tools with respect to the visibility of tacit knowledge and add a further valuable dimension to a well-known model that is frequently cited in the Knowledge Management literature.
... The extant literature has emphasized the vital role of a number of KS predictors like social networking, effective communication, trust, collaboration, supportive culture, and financial and non-financial rewards (Adeinat and Abdulfatah, 2019;Fauzi et al., 2019;Muqadas et al., 2017;Corcoran and Duane, 2017). Moreover, these studies have highlighted that firms can face a number of challenges in the absence of such factors in nurturing KS practices. ...
Article
The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of the four National Culture (NC) dimensions of Uncertainty Avoidance, Collectivism, Power Distance and Masculinity on Knowledge Sharing. In addition, this study aims to examine the mediating effects of Trust and Social Networking on the relationships between the four NC dimensions and Knowledge Sharing (KS). A theoretical model was developed, and a questionnaire-based survey was designed and targeted a “Knowledge Intensive” sector, namely the healthcare sector in Jordan. Findings show that Collectivism and Uncertainty Avoidance were the only two dimensions found to have a positive and significant effect on Knowledge Sharing, Trust as well as Social Networking. Both Trust and Social Networking were found to have positive and significant effects on Knowledge Sharing. Trust fully mediated the effect of Collectivism on Knowledge Sharing and partially mediated the effect of Uncertainty Avoidance, whereas Social Networking was found to have a partial mediating effect. In conclusion, the study has contributed to the extant NC and KS literature by complementing studying a nation’s distinctive cultural traits’ on an organizational-level routine.
... To the best of our knowledge, this is the first research paper to propose a detailed roadmap to conduct an Enterprise Social Media initiative in the Digital Transformation context. As an Enterprise Social Media project is a firm-specific initiative that need to be structured and adapted to a specific organizational profile and culture (Poncier, 2011;Corcoran & Duane, 2017), we do not aim to provide a general and all-purpose method, but rather, to provide a guidelines that adapts to different organizational contexts. To achieve this, we integrated the systems development methodology provided by Rivard (2000) (2011); and with our qualitative data and lessons learned during this longitudinal research. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the present globalized and digital business environment, an organization's capacity to accurately manage its knowledge has the potential to generate superior efficiency and higher innovation performance. Even if they are aware of this, some organizations, driven by short-term strategies and profits, resist in breaking the Digital transformation inertia. However, internal and external factors, like the COVID-19 pandemic, involuntary accelerate the digitalization of organizational knowledge, and that requires a structured deployment process for maximizing its benefits. In this context, the use of Enterprise Social Media emerges as a suitable and intuitive manner to digitalize organizational knowledge and to create business value. Using data collected during a longitudinal action research study, this paper proposes a detailed 8-steps roadmap and an online comprehensive diagnostic tool to identify and overcome barriers related to: culture, hierarchy, technical and organizational aspects, and employees' resistance to change. This structured process aims at guiding practitioners to implement an Enterprise social media initiative in the Digital Transformation context, besides providing insights for future academic research in the area.
... To the best of our knowledge, this is the first research paper to propose a detailed roadmap to conduct an Enterprise Social Media initiative in the Digital Transformation context. As an Enterprise Social Media project is a firm-specific initiative that need to be structured and adapted to a specific organizational profile and culture (Poncier, 2011;Corcoran & Duane, 2017), we do not aim to provide a general and all-purpose method, but rather, to provide a guidelines that adapts to different organizational contexts. To achieve this, we integrated the systems development methodology provided by Rivard (2000) (2011); and with our qualitative data and lessons learned during this longitudinal research. ...
Conference Paper
The study of knowledge management (KM) is critical for higher educational institutions in wake of globalization and thereby increased competition. However, despite its significance, the academic enquiry of KM in education sector is at its nascent stage. This forms the motivation of the present work; this paper aims to analyze and understand the intricate relationship between KM processes and performance in terms of innovation and quality performance in Omani Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). A comprehensive study of KM processes-performance framework consisting of various constructs (some constructs of KM processes and other constructs of KM performance) was done in this empirical research. The underlying factors of variables were developed through an extensive literature review. The employee perceptions of these constructs were captured on a five-point Likert scale using a survey in the Oman education sector institutions. The responses captured were then used to identify strong and weak areas of KM processes and relationship with performance constructs in HEIs. The study found that Knowledge Creation (KC) and Capture and Knowledge Capture and Storage (KSC) significantly affect both, Innovation Performance (IP) and Quality performance (QP) of Omani HEIs; while Knowledge Sharing (KS) and Knowledge Application and Use (KA) do not significantly affect the IP or QP of Omani HEIs. The study concludes that Omani HEIs needs to give more attention to the processes of KC and KSC to be able to improve their KM and consequently improve the IP and QP of these institutions. On another hand, Omani HEIs can be benefited by this elaborate model to assure the integration between the elements of KC and KSC. Further, integration of these two processes with KS and KA to enhance their IP and QP. This study is an attempt to fill the gap in the literature about applying/implementing a KM framework for the higher education sector, especially in Gulf region and therefore significantly contributes toward the theoretical advancement of the field. However, the study is based on the perceptual measures of individual employees, which is a limitation, instead of more objective measures to capture the impact KM processes on KM performance. The HEIs reluctance to share objective data on their performance and KM forced to go for this perceptual study. The strong and significant impact of KM processes on educational institute’s performance is expected to provide the impetus for practitioners and policymakers to implement and leverage from KM processes and improve firm performance in the education sector.
... The benefits of having ready access to knowledge through vCoP and ESN participation also drew some commentary. The ESN presents a significant opportunity to improve communications across the organization, providing pathways to reach staff who would not normally meet on a day-today basis, and this is a particular benefit for multi-campus HEIs that may have departments and faculties spread across multiple sites (Corcoran & Duane, 2017). ...
Chapter
A lack of community at the heart of higher education institutions (HEIs) has led to a breakdown of collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst staff. There are a number of contributory factors, including the culture and structure of these organizations, and a divide between academic and other staff. The use of community-based knowledge management (KM) techniques, such as communities of practice (CoP), appears to have some potential in addressing this problem, and particularly when coupled with enterprise social networks (ESN) to create online communities. A case study of the implementation of an ESN and virtual CoP (vCoP) in a public HEI in Ireland is presented. The project involved an action research (AR) study conducted over a 12-month period and used qualitative data from focus groups and interviews to investigate a number of themes based on a conceptual model. The findings indicate that the barriers to staff participation are influenced by the prevalent organizational structure and culture, and a divide between faculty and other staff. However, individual benefits that accrue may influence greater participation, and organizational benefits that accrue may influence organizational strategies that drive change in structure and culture to promote the development of the knowledge sharing environment. A number of strategies for practice and specific tactical approaches for organizations to use are presented. In general, HEIs need to move towards a transformational culture for staff to be suitably motivated to participate in online communities and share knowledge freely.
... Information and communication technology (ICT) is even perceived as a crucial supporting factor, along with culture, structure, reward systems, trust, and management support, motivating knowledge sharing within organizations today (Farooq, 2018). Even so, technology investment and development to support explicit and tacit knowledge sharing remains uneven (Ting et al., 2011;Corcoran & Duane, 2017). Part of this hesitancy to commit dates back to some of the disappointing investments in massive KM systems what was pointed by Carr in the early 2000's. ...
Conference Paper
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IT competency plays a vital role in knowledge management processes. Information technology affects an organization's ability to store and recall knowledge that has been made explicit through codification, including different forms such as written documents, reports, presentations, patents, formulas, etc. This study aims to measure the influence of a company's IT competency dimensions such as IT-knowledge, IT-operations, and IT-infrastructure on knowledge sharing. For this purpose, a survey of 910 Polish employees with different roles and experiences and across different industries has been conducted. The data were analyzed with a structural equation modeling method (SEM). Findings suggest that infrastructure is not a significant IT competency when it comes to knowledge sharing, whereas IT-knowledge and IT-operations are. It means that infrastructure should be perceived as a necessary but not sufficient factor to ensure the knowledge-sharing flow in organizations. This conclusion leads to the interesting implication that IT-operations and IT-knowledge are actually the vital factors to support effective knowledge sharing. It means that business case knowledge, which is pivotal for effective operations is fundamental for developing IT competency. It means that knowledge workers who act as "bridges" between IT and business operations became more and more valuable human capital assets.
Chapter
Knowledge is a vital strategic asset for organizations but is surprisingly not well managed in public higher education institutions, with a number of negative effects. These organizations are highly bureaucratic in nature, with consequential structural and cultural characteristics that tend to inhibit staff communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. A new wave of social-media-driven knowledge-management techniques may have a transformational effect on these institutions, potentially leading to increased intellectual capital and competitive advantage in ever-expanding, global marketplaces. Enterprise social networks and virtual communities of practice are at the heart of this new type of knowledge sharing environment and provide a significant opportunity for higher education institutions to significantly change the way that staff interact and communicate with each other, generating a number of individual and organizational benefits.
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Despite the growing interest in knowledge management (KM) for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), research on this topic is still fragmented and loosely focused. This paper adds to this research by providing a state-of-the-art of the current literature and outlining overlooked areas of investigation in order to address further studies towards bridging this gap. To this purpose, through a systematic review process, 121 articles have been coded and analysed according to distinct dimensions. Findings reveal that, despite the growing trend of papers on the topic, research on KM in HEIs is still in its embryonic stage with high levels of heterogeneity and lack of wider theoretical constructs. Furthermore, a thematic analysis highlights six main research concepts, from which this paper derives a comprehensive framework integrating the key issues from the literature and suggesting new possible research avenues in the field.
Chapter
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In the prevailing knowledge-driven economic society and increasingly digitizing world, knowledge as the very important resource claims a key position in the success of companies and institutions. It is even more so in the knowledge-intensive institutions like in higher education. Its proper management incorporates three main components, namely People, Technology and Process. It is the coherence between these main components that determines the success of a Knowledge Management System (KMS). Since the later years of last decade, the advancement in the features of technology hardware and their functionalities have brought more focus on the technology capabilities to serve the human resource beyond representing and processing information. Moreover, the growing digital-native generation also forms the basis for the application of advancing features of technology into the processes to efficiently utilize the knowledge resources for greater educational and research endeavors towards sustainability of higher education. This Systematic Literature review, therefore, describes the methodology developed to conduct the review and provides analysis of the findings exploring the trend in the application of information technologies in higher education KMS. It will also identify gaps where more research needed and describing lessons acquired for contextual application of KMS in developing countries' higher education.
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Enterprise social networks provide benefits especially for knowledge-intensive work as they enable communication, collaboration and knowledge exchange. These platforms should therefore lead to increased adoption and use by knowledge-intensive workers such as consultants or indeed researchers. Our interest is in ascertaining whether scientific researchers use enterprise social networks as part of their work practices. This focus is motivated by an apparent schism between a need for researchers to exchange knowledge and profile themselves, and the aversion to sharing breakthrough ideas and joining in an ever-increasing publishing and marketing game. We draw on research on academic work practices and impression management to develop a model of academics' ESN usage for impression management tactics. We describe important constructs of our model, offer strategies for their operationalization and give an outlook to our ongoing empirical study of the use of an ESN platform by 20 schools across six faculties at an Australian university.
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Organisations are increasingly implementing corporate social networking platforms, referred to as enterprise social networks (ESNs), for organisational benefits such as improved communication and collaboration, as well as enhanced knowledge sharing and innovation among employees. However, the paradoxical relationship between ESN implementation and the promised business benefits has been attributed to employees’ underutilisation. Despite the maturity of research on information system (IS) adoption, there is paucity in understanding the factors explaining individual use of this emerging workplace social platform. Our research focuses on factors influencing employees’ decision to use ESN in their work role and draws on case studies of two large multinational professional service firms (PSFs) based in Australia. Qualitative data were collected during ten semi-structured interviews with employees from both organisations, to determine their perceptions of ESN usage and to capture the factors that influence their decision to use the ESN. The findings illustrate that the likelihood of ESN use is significantly influenced by technological, organisational, social and individual factors. This paper contributes to developing an in-depth understanding of the enabling or inhibiting factors to using ESN in PSFs. We suggest that successful ESN use within an organisation involves the nexus between these four factors, and recommendations are made as guidelines for organisational actors about how ESNs usage can be increased.
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Understanding knowledge is the first step to managing it effectively. Here are a dozen characteristics of knowledge, and some tools and approaches for making the most of the knowledge assets in your organization. Winston Churchill said, "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind." Tom Peters said, "Heavy lifting is out; brains are in." Stately or slangy, it's a fact that knowledge is edging out buildings and gear as the essential business asset. Even advertising and marketing use such words as knowledge, intelligence, and ideas. When many companies must innovate or die, their ability to learn, adapt, and change becomes a core competency for survival. Most seek more knowledge through training, education, and career development. Every business is a knowledge business; every worker is a knowledge worker. The knowledge economy has brought new power to workers. Many are "free agents," contingency workers that make up almost a third of the U.S. workforce. Workers own the means of production-their knowledge. They can sell it, trade it, or give it away and still own it. As a result, the ways we manage people have undergone a dramatic, fundamental shift. Knowledge is perishable. The shelf life of expertise is limited because new technologies, products, and services continually pour into the marketplace. No one can hoard knowledge. People and companies must constantly renew, replenish, expand, and create more knowledge.
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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to discuss the motivational factors affecting the knowledge sharing through an intra-organizational social media platform and to answer the following research questions: "What motivates employees to share their knowledge through an intra-organizational social media platform?"; "What impedes them sharing knowledge this way?"; and "Do these factors differ from those motivational factors regarding knowledge sharing in general?".Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper approaches the issue from both theoretical and empirical viewpoints. The motivational factors regarding knowledge sharing in general are summed up from literature. The social media platform perspective to the issue is studied by conducting a survey in two companies.Findings ‐ The results reveal that the motivation to share knowledge through an intra-organizational social media platform is the desire to help the organization reach its goals and helping colleagues, while financial rewards and advancing one's career were seen as least motivating. The key issues enabling the success of using a collaborative intra-organizational social media platform in knowledge sharing are in line with the general knowledge sharing motivational factors, although supplemented with some additional features: reciprocity in knowledge sharing, making every-day work easier and faster and ease of use are the key factors that make or break the success.Originality/value ‐ The empirical study reveals what motivates and impedes the employees of the companies to share knowledge via an intra-organizational social media platform. The results are discussed in the light of those from earlier research about general knowledge sharing motivational factors.
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Purpose – Since its introduction, the notion of Communities of Practice (CoPs) has gained immediate popularity, especially among Knowledge Management scholars. The paper aims at reviewing the past and discussing what has been done. In particular the purposes are: to assess the importance of CoPs in the KM literature; to trace how this notion is defined and used, both in practical and theoretical terms; to classify the approaches used by KM research on CoPs; to discuss the results that research and practice in CoPs have led so far, the open issues, and the potential role of this notion in a future KM research agenda. Design/methodology/approach – The paper illustrates and discusses the findings of a systematic literature review on CoPs focusing on papers published in the most influential Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital Journals. Findings – The study analyses 82 articles published in 12 different KM and IC leading journals from 1997 to 2012. Each article was examined to determine the following information: type of study; domain of application; research methodology applied and addressed topic. Emerging trends, open questions and further research needs are identified and discussed. In particular, an issue for researchers is the necessity to formulate an agreed definition of CoPs under the KM umbrella, which can also help to implement comparable empirical studies and to build theories that provide understanding of how CoPs can be managed. Practical implications – The outcomes of the review is particularly important for KM scholars dealing with CoPs, who can find suggestions for their future research. It can also provide food for thought to practitioners, by illustrating the state-of-the-art and prospects of this important organisational form. In addition, the paper highlights that, despite the huge amount of studies on this topic, the notion of CoP is still used in different ways and the specific experience of each company is difficult to generalise and transfer to other cases. Originality/value – This is the most up-to-date analysis of research on CoPs in its elective field of application that is Knowledge Management.
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Higher education performs an important role in the knowledge-based economy. As learning organizations, they will be able to extend knowledge skills, produce top quality graduates, enhance innovation and creativity and contribute effectively to the knowledge production and intellectual property development. This paper discusses the concept of knowledge management at higher education institutions, presents a review of knowledge management (KM) processes and proceeds to a knowledge management systems (KMS) systematization. Finally, it proposes a framework to manage knowledge, as well as the processes and activities that enhance knowledge, in higher education institutions.
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Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the factors and barriers that contribute to successful knowledge sharing among the university teaching staff. Design/methodology/approach – Based on an extensive review of literature, measures of knowledge sharing are identified. These include such factors as nature of knowledge, working culture, staff attitudes, motivation to share and opportunities to share. A model is developed for the study and hypotheses are formulated. Primary data were collected through a survey from a sample of teaching staff from both public and private universities in Malaysia. Findings – Based on empirical research, the study shows some contrasting findings. As for the sample drawn from teaching staff belonging to public universities, there is a significant relationship between knowledge sharing and the independent factors mentioned earlier. Results from the sample from staff teaching in private universities do not show such relationships. Research limitations/implications – The sample size itself and the generalisation of results to teaching staff from higher education institutions in Malaysia constitute a major limitation. Practical implications – The findings of the study provide useful insights to management of higher education institutions in providing facilities to enhance knowledge sharing among teaching staff. Originality/value – The study makes a valuable contribution, given that there is a dearth of empirical studies of this nature focusing on the South East Asian region.
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Globalization has placed businesses everywhere in new and different competitive situations where knowledgeable, effective behavior has come to provide the competitive edge. Enterprises have turned to explicit and systematic knowledge management (KM) to develop the intellectual capital needed to succeed. Further developments are expected to provide considerable benefits resulting from changes in the workplace and in management and operational practices. Changes will partly come from information technology and artificial intelligence developments. However, more important changes are expected in people-centric practices to build, apply, and deploy knowledge and understanding for support of innovative and effective knowledge-intensive work. Much remains to be done. Next generation KM methods will still be crude. Our understanding of knowledge and how people use it to work has a long way to go. We need a“theory of knowledge” and perhaps a new theory of the firm to create a solid foundation for future KM. Still, users can expect significant benefits from KM as it develops over the next decades.
Article
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Purpose – The objective of this paper is to investigate and compare the practices of knowledge management (KM) processes, which have been grounded in the KM literature, between public and private higher education institutions (HEIs). Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 594 academics from three public and three private HEIs in Malaysia. Findings – The analyses suggest that all the six KM processes (knowledge creation, capture, organisation, storage, dissemination, and application) are moderately practiced by the institutions surveyed and that there are significant differences in the overall practices of KM processes between the public and private HEIs. Practical implications – This paper raises awareness and provides initial guidelines to the HEIs as knowledge-intensive organisations in formulating strategies on how to properly implement and manage their KM processes. Originality/value – This study has extended knowledge in KM for it is probably the first to provide a comparative analysis between public and private HEIs. It further opens up new lines of future research possibilities.
Article
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Purpose – Knowledge sharing is the corner-stone of many organisations’ knowledge-management (KM) strategy. Despite the growing significance of knowledge sharing's practices for organisations’ competitiveness and market performance, several barriers make it difficult for KM to achieve the goals and deliver a positive return on investment. This paper provides a detailed review of current KM and related literatures on a large number of possible knowledge-sharing barriers with the purpose of offering a more comprehensive and structured starting-point for senior managers when auditing their organisation's current knowledge base and knowledge-sharing requirements. Design/methodology/approach – This article reviews and discusses over three dozen potential knowledge-sharing barriers, categorising them into three main domains of recently published works: individual/personal, organisational, and technological barriers. Findings – The extensive list of knowledge sharing barriers provides a helpful starting point and guideline for senior managers auditing their existing practices with a view to identifying any bottle-necks and improving on the overall effectiveness of knowledge-sharing activities. Practical implications – Managers need to realise, however, that a particular knowledge sharing strategy or specific managerial actions will not suit all companies and that there are differences to be expected between MNCs and SMEs, private, public sector, and not-for-profit organisations. As such, the implementation of knowledge-sharing goals and strategies into an organisation's strategic planning and thinking will vary greatly. Originality/value – The main discussion of this paper brings together a large range of knowledge- sharing barriers in an attempt to indicate the complexity of knowledge sharing as a value-creating organisational activity.
Article
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Organizational culture is increasingly recognized as a major barrier to leveraging intellectual assets. This article identifies four ways in which culture influences the behaviors central to knowledge creation, sharing, and use. First, culture-and particularly subcultures-shape assumptions about what knowledge is and which knowledge is worth managing. Second, culture defines the relationships between l individual and organizational knowledge, determining who is expected to control specific knowledge, as well as who must share it and who can hoard it. Third, culture creates the context for social interaction that determines how knowledge will be used in particular situations. Fourth, culture shapes the processes by which new knowledge-with its accompanying uncertaintieswis created, legitimated, and distributed in organizations These four perspectives suggest specific actions managers can take to assess the different aspects of culture most likely to influence knowledge-related behaviors. This diagnosis is the critical first step in developing a strategy and specific interventions to align the firm's culture in support of more effective knowledge use.
Chapter
This chapter presents a case study of the creation and evolution of a fee-based, multi-company Community of Practice (CoP) for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the San Francisco Bay Area over a six-year period. It describes the principles, processes and practices required to form and maintain a trust-based, face-to-face learning organization where members share accumulated knowledge. Additionally, it states some of the individual, collective and Information Technology industry benefits and results that have accrued from member participation in the CIO Community of Practice. The authors hope that the description of this CoP will foster the same sense of excitement for would-be practitioners that they feel.
Chapter
The boundaries of a Community of Practice (CoP) have changed significantly because of changes in organizations and the nature of the work they do. Organizations have become more distributed across geography and across industries. Relationships between people inside an organization and those previously considered outside (customers, suppliers, managers of collaborating organizations, other stakeholders) are becoming more important. In addition, organizations have discovered the value of collaborative work due to the new emphasis on Knowledge Management—harvesting the learning and the experience of members of the organization so that it is available to the whole organization. This chapter offers a practical toolkit of best practices, tips and examples from the authors’ work training leaders to launch and sustain a virtual CoP, including tips for chartering the community, defining roles, and creating the culture that will sustain the community over time.
Article
This study investigated the utilisation of social media tools to enhance Knowledge Sharing (KS) practices among knowledge workers at The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) of Tanzania. A case study design was used in this study. Data was collected by adopting a combination of document content analysis and semi-structured interviews from library and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) staff. Data was analysed thematically. The study showed that social media tools can be implemented effectively according to institution goal, users’ need and capacity building among knowledge workers. The findings also reviewed the strong commitment of the institution to ensure knowledge dissemination and exchange among its employees through the establishment of an electronic library, reliable internet connection, and having an ICT centre. This is a comprehensive study focusing on knowledge workers’ ability and willingness in utilising social media tools for KS initiatives in Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs); and reveals findings that are useful for planning and implementing social media tools initiatives for KS in other HLIs in the country.
Book
This book serves as a reference for individuals interested in knowledge management (KM) and educational issues surrounding KM. It looks at KM as an emerging profession and the need to educate a new generation of knowledge professionals to deal with managing knowledge on the one hand and managing knowledge workers on the other hand. In particular, it examines the skills and competencies of knowledge professionals; and how educational programs can address these demands - covering such issues as determining the optimal mix of subjects from the various disciplines that develop the requisite professional competencies. © 2003 S. Al-Hawamdeh Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Book
A comprehensive, multi-perspective approach to knowledge management, which explores how knowledge is effectively managed within the organizations in which we work.
Conference Paper
The most significant changes in the characteristics of consumers have contributed to the development and adoption of methodologies and tools that enable organizations to be more competitive in the marketplace. One of these methodologies is the integration of Knowledge Management (KM) phases and Environmental Management Systems (EMS). This integration allows companies to manage and share the required knowledge for EMS adoption, from the place where it is generated to the place where it is going to be exploited. The aim of this paper is to identify the relationship between KM phases as a tool for the adoption of EMS in HEI. The methodology has a descriptive scope and a qualitative approach. It is based on a case study and a review of the literature about KM and EMS. We conducted 266 surveys to students, professors and staff at Minuto de Dios University (Colombia). Data derived from the study indicate that if a HEI wants to achieve an adequate knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer, it must have clear goals for implementing an EMS. Also, HEI should create empowerment and training spaces for students, professors and staff. In the case study, HEI must generate alternatives that enhance spaces of knowledge appropriation. It was found that 85% of respondents have not received any training from HEI about EMS. 88% of respondents believe that the actions taken by the university are not efficient to knowledge transfer in order to develop an EMS.
Article
This study is concerned with the traits and characteristics of presidents of institutions of higher education who are considered transformational leaders.The study adds current data to the published and perceived characterization of leaders in higher education and their approaches to changing the learning environment at their institutions.This study addresses the significance and current widespread appeal of transformational leadership and its practical application to higher education; but equally important, it profiles the group and individual qualities that are necessary for individuals to have, as their acumen, in order to introduce a climate of change utilizing transformational leadership.
Article
This study examines the use of enterprise social media (ESM) for organizational knowledge sharing and shows that professionals face ambiguities because their knowledge sharing behavior is informed by an institutional complexity that consists of 2 dissimilar institutional logics: logics of the profession, and logics of the corporation. Our qualitative case study of an ESM at an IT consultancy organization shows that professionals find ways to manage the ambiguities they experience by engaging the affordances of ESM in such a way as to develop coping practices: connection management, reputation management, and information management. By complementing the affordance perspective with an institutional logics perspective, we are able to advance scholarly understanding on how ESM can facilitate but also frustrate knowledge sharing.
Article
Higher Education Institutions (HEI) implement Knowledge Management (KM) strategies to improve educational services. KM practices, supported by web 2.0 technologies, allow the identification, creation, storage, interchange and use of knowledge. The aim of this article is to assess the use of such practices and technologies in HEIs, based on data from one case study. Results show that KM practices and web 2.0 technologies are known but seldom used in HEIs. The article concludes by suggesting that action plans aiming at institutionalizing KM practices must go in line with an overall KM strategy, involving the whole organization.
Article
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the limited previous research on knowledge sharing in universities, by profiling the attitudes of and intentions towards knowledge sharing of UK academics, and by profiling their views of some of the factors that might be expected to impact on knowledge sharing activities. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A questionnaire-based survey was used to gather a profile of UK academics' attitudes and intentions towards knowledge sharing and related factors, including expected rewards and associations, expected contribution, normative beliefs on knowledge sharing, leadership, structure, autonomy, affiliation to institution, affiliation to discipline, and technology platform. Responses were received from 230 academics in 11 universities. Findings ‐ Respondents had positive attitudes towards knowledge sharing and their intentions in this area were also good. This may be related to their belief that knowledge sharing will improve and extend their relationships with colleagues, and offer opportunities for internal promotion and external appointments. Respondents are relatively neutral regarding the way in which they are led, and the role of organisational structure and information technology in knowledge sharing. They have a relatively low level of affiliation to their university, perceptions of a high level of autonomy, coupled with a high level of affiliation to their discipline. Originality/value ‐ This study demonstrates that universities do have an embedded knowledge culture, but that culture is individualistic in nature and to some extent self-serving and instrumental. This poses interesting challenges for knowledge management in universities.
Article
Purpose – This paper is aimed at both researchers and organizations. For researchers, it seeks to provide a means for better analyzing the phenomenon of social media implementation in organizations as a knowledge management (KM) enabler. For organizations, it seeks to suggest a step-by-step architecture for practically implementing social media and benefiting from it in terms of KM. Design/methodology/approach – The research is an empirical study. A hypothesis was set; empirical evidence was collected (from 34 organizations). The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively, thereby forming the basis for the proposed architecture. Findings – Implementing social media in organizations is more than a yes/no question; findings show various levels of implementation in organizations: some implementing at all levels, while others implement only tools, functional components, or even only visibility. Research limitations/implications – Two main themes should be further tested: whether the suggested architecture actually yields faster/eased KM implementation compared to other techniques; and whether it can serve needs beyond the original scope (KM, Israel) as tested in this study (i.e. also for other regions and other needs – service, marketing and sales, etc.). Practical implications – Organizations can use the suggested four levels architecture as a guideline for implementing social media as part of their KM efforts. Originality/value – This paper is original and innovative. Previous studies describe the implementation of social media in terms of yes/no; this research explores the issue as a graded one, where organizations can and do implement social media step-by-step. The paper's value is twofold: it can serve as a foundational study for future researches, which can base their analysis on the suggested architecture of four levels of implementation. It also serves as applied research that will help organizations searching for social media implementation KM enablers.
Article
Communities of Practice (CoP) have long been considered powerful Knowledge Management (KM) mechanisms. CoP, however, are often viewed independently from organizational goals and structures, as they are primarily seen as a means of individual knowledge sharing and learning. In this article, we argue that CoP supported by social media have great potential to contribute to organizational goals, such as business strategy. We seek to support this statement through an embedded case study that includes 54 CoP within a prominent multinational engineering firm. This investigation explores the extent to which CoP contribute to business strategy. The paper's contribution is in providing five guidelines for practice that outline how CoP can be best designed to contribute to business strategy and how social media can serve as the “missing link” to execute those guidelines.
Article
Understanding what motivates participation in online innovation communities is now a high priority given the recent interest in crowdsourcing as an approach to increasing diversity and creativity in innovation. This article reports on the results of a survey of participants in an online innovation community to characterise and find correlations between motivation and participation styles. An analysis of the survey results show: the majority of participants were contributors or collaborators, not readers or leaders; reasons for joining collective innovation communities can be different to the reason for continuing to participate; primary motivations for participation are fun and challenge; intrinsic motivations rated higher than extrinsic; and the participants that are passionate about the online community are either new members, < one month, or long standing members, > six months.
Article
Social media are increasingly implemented in work organizations as tools for communication among employees. As these technologies begin to proliferate across the enterprise, it is important that we develop an understanding of how they enable and constrain the communicative activities through which work is accomplished because it is these very dynamics that constitute and perpetuate organizations. We begin by offering a definition of enterprise social media and providing a rough historical account of the various avenues through which these technologies have entered and continue to enter the workplace. We also review areas of research covered by papers in this special issue and papers on enterprise social media published elsewhere to take stock of the current state of out knowledge and to propose directions for future research.
Article
Organisations are increasingly adopting Web2.0 technologies such as web-based communities, social networking sites, wikis and blogs to enable users to interact, share information and alter web-based content. In a business/commercial context, the use of such technologies has been termed Enterprise2.0. This paper explores organisational actors’ experiences of this new technology and how the shift to Enterprise2.0 is shaping how people work and organise. We present an in-depth case study of a large multinational telecommunications company that is commonly regarded as one of the leading proponents of Enterprise2.0. Data were collected from three business units each exhibiting different characteristics in terms of the level of Enterprise2.0 experience and employee participation in decision-making. Our findings show that while Enterprise2.0 is claimed to be “social”, “open” and “participative” and has the potential to deliver significant business benefits, the experiences of organisational actors suggest that their expectations regarding Enterprise2.0 use were not met. Paradoxically, employee participation was limited and the monitoring and moderation of certain discussions, together with political use of the technology by leaders, meant that the use of Enterprise2.0 was often thought of as no more “social”, “open” or “participative” than more traditional methods of communication. These results are discussed within the framework of previous research on the management of the introduction of new technology and its use and exploitation within organisations.
Article
Despite its fundamental role in the structure and function of higher education, departmental culture has received little attention from higher education scholars and virtually no research has been done on how departmental culture is shaped by the larger disciplinary and institutional cultures. This study demonstrates the extent to which different aspects of departmental culture can be attributed to the influence of institutional and disciplinary cultures.
Article
This paper examines aspects of the 'binary divide' in Australian higher education staffing, looking at the role of general staff in tertiary education administration and management in the 1990s, and the antipathy many members of academic community appear to have toward general staff. There are brief comparisons with the situation in three other countries, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Finland which provide a point of comparison with the Australian situation. This report was prepared as an outcome both of research into the Australian situation and an overseas visit funded by an ATEM International Travel Grant in 1998.
Article
In recent years, pressures for change in universities in the United Kingdom have stimulated the emergence of new models of institutional governance and management. In turn, these new models have led to significant changes in the position of academic staff in the running of their institutions. This paper looks at change within four leading UK universities, the motivation for change, the new models that have developed, some of the issues which have emerged and the impact upon academic staff.
Article
Reflective writing has become established as a key component of reflective practice, and central to the notion of learning from experience. Claims are made in the reflective practice literature of the capacity for reflective writing to develop the writer’s critical thinking and analytical abilities, contribute to their cognitive development, enable creativity and unique connections to be made between disparate sets of information, and to contribute to new perspectives being taken on issues. All of these are attributes to be expected in competent researchers. Thus, this paper considers the features of reflective writing and its use within qualitative research as a method in its own right, as a data source and within the analytical processes. It is argued that, although reflective writing is increasingly becoming visible within qualitative research reports, it needs to be further acknowledged as central to the methodological processes within research studies and recognised as an essential part of their methodology.
Article
Knowledge management (KM) is usually marketed like a performance-enhancing drug. The professional literature abounds with suggestions for organizational renewal. However in reality, things are not so clear-cut. In particular, organizations have different goals, social contexts, histories, value systems and reward structures. Overall, organizational culture will have a direct bearing on whether KM produces the desired outcomes, unintended side-effects or, in extreme cases, iatrogenic dysfunction.
Article
This paper argues that conditions supporting dissemination (sharing) of teachers' learning are necessary for school change and organizational learning. Based on a qualitative study that explored dissemination of teachers' learning within a multi-school computer technology project, the paper identifies 43 factors that motivate teachers' sharing and 35 factors that restrain their sharing in schools. The paper posits that in the short-term, it may be easier to encourage dissemination by reducing restraining factors than by working to increase motivating factors. In the long term, however, the attitudes and beliefs underlying the motivating factors must be addressed. This paper also offers a table of participants' suggestions for administrators to encourage teachers to share their learning with colleagues.
Article
Research is an integral element of the work of higher education institutions, underpinning not only academics' responsibilities in developing intellectual skills and personal reputations, but contributing to the status of an organisation. Whilst formalised approaches are adopted for developing research, there is a growing trend towards informal groupings or communities of practice. This research, based on interviews with members of five research-based communities of practice, examines the values and motivation of individuals involved in developing research within these higher education communities. The findings reveal that 20 such values are apparent with 12 of these observed in past research; the other eight have emerged from this research and centre on a number of issues, including the need to overcome intellectual isolation, generation of tangible research outcomes, increased synergy and leverage, and creation of collaborative research.
Article
This article describes the deficiencies of positivist science for generating knowledge for use in solving problems that members of organizations face. Action research is introduced as a method for correcting these deficiencies. When action research is tested against the criteria of positivist science, action research is found not to meet its critical tests. The appropriateness of positivist science is questioned as a basis for judging the scientific merits of action research. Action research can base its legitimacy as science in philosophical traditions that are different from those which legitimate positivist science. Criteria and methods of science appropriate to action research are offered.
Article
The ability to acquire, share, and utilize knowledge has become a critical organizational capability as businesses attempt to cope with a rapidly changing environment. Colleges of business, the critical suppliers of future business managers, are not immune to such environmental changes. As such, many academics have come to realize that they must adopt cultures that embrace continuous learning so that college programs can be periodically updated to meet changing demands. Unfortunately, given the nature of academia, the implementation of many knowledge management (KM) processes is often difficult. To address such difficulties, this paper first identifies several barriers that inhibit KM within the college context and then presents a multi-step framework that can be used to identify the boundaries of a college’s knowledge base so that it can be reconciled with the body of knowledge and skills currently needed in industry. The paper also offers some general concluding remarks as to the importance of KM and its role in helping colleges of business remain relevant in the educational supply chain.
Article
The paper discusses the potential impact of videoconferencing on practices and processes within the construction industry, based on analyses carried out on its use and impact in the healthcare sector – which like construction involves technology-intensive processes which are dependent upon cross-professional and cross-disciplinary relationships and communications, operate within an increasingly regulatory and litigious climate, and involve organizationally fluid, virtual, teams spanning several subindustries. Recently published research evidence from the healthcare sector suggests that whilst videoconferencing and other advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) have pervasive capabilities, successes in their application may be shortlived and modest in achievement. In use, their actual uptake and application have been found to be fundamentally affected by a range of social and operational issues, such as fears over a new formalization and trackability of previously informal conversations; a rebalancing of power relationships (between professionals using the ICTs as well as between doctor and patient); pressures on social/cultural and procedural alignment between participants; and personal and corporate attitudes to the technologies (including simply disliking the ICT). There is also evidence from the healthcare sector to suggest that ICTs increase the complexity of the delivering healthcare, and that the limitations of the technologies emphasise an existing dependency of communications and processes on tacit knowledge which is not readily formalized for communication via ICTs. However, the paper also notes an increasing pressure on the construction industry to respond to the globalizing potential that ICTs offer for the supply and delivery of knowledge-based services, and discusses the implications of the issues found in the healthcare sector for the use and potential abuse of ICTs in the construction industry that will have to be successfully addressed in order to avoid ICTs being perceived as threatening and to allow their use to help organizations address the globalising marketplace.
Article
A 2004 paper, ‘The invisible workers’ by Szekeres, lamented the ‘invisibility’ of professional staff in Australian higher education. Even then, professional staff constituted more than half the university workforce, but they were defined by what they were not (non-academic) and they experienced a high level of frustration in their relationships with academic staff and with their institutions. This paper examines whether the situation for professional staff has changed in the intervening period. It would seem that by 2009, professionals had carved out a more critical space in the sector than they had been able to do by 2004. At senior levels, professionals are no longer restricted to specialist roles such as human resources or information technology or building services but have moved into the Pro- and Deputy-Vice-Chancellor space, roles previously reserved for senior academics. However, has there been much change in the junior or middle management roles? This paper considers the literature over the last six years as it relates to professional staff, look at the changing statistics in Australia around employment of professional staff, and consider what changes have taken place for professional staff at all levels.
Article
Where are university administrators placed in texts that are centred around universities? There appears to be either a total confusion in terminology about administration or a complete disregard for administrators' work but in most cases administrative staff in universities are largely invisible.This paper explores a range of texts (academic, government reports and novels) and provides a picture of how the work of administrators and the staff themselves are represented. It examines how they are positioned in the organisation as people, as workers and as power brokers and provides a starting point for further research into how these workers see themselves. "There has been remarkably little systematic study of the roles and values of university administrative staff" (McInnis, 1998, p. 161). Maybe it is time that this was remedied.
Article
Regardless of whether a project team is located in the same workplace or distributed around the world, trust remains an important element deemed necessary to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative work. At the same time, distribution across sites presents challenges to trust building that are not present among co-located teams. A further complicating factor in trust building among distributed teams is national culture. As we demonstrate, the impact of nationality can be increased when organizations put the distributed sites in a competitive frame. Using the Newell and Swan threefold typology of trust, this paper analyzes trust among IT work teams whose members are located at sites that are distributed in the United States, Ireland, and India. Our case analysis confirms the problematic nature of trust building among globally distributed teams. Specifically, we found that due to situational factors and socio-psychological dynamics an ‘Us versus Them’ attitude prevails among the distributed sites. This paper concludes that the traditional approaches used by organizations to address the challenges of global collaboration are insufficient and that trust building in an organizational setting requires project managers to actively work on relationship management to minimize the impact of an inter-group perspective. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This research examines the concept of organizational memory in the context of multi-unit organizations. It addresses the question: how do organizations collect, store and provide access to their experiential knowledge? I develop a framework for organizational memory in geographically distributed settings based on the concept of organizational memory systems and empirically assess the usefulness of this framework in the context of a multinational, business consulting organization. Multiple memory systems were identified, including social networks, knowledge centers and various computer-based systems. I present and discuss findings with respect to the characteristics and perceived effectiveness of these memory systems.