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|Title:||Organizational learning via groupware: a path to discovery or disaster|
McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, Management of Innovation and New Technology Research Centre
|Series/Report no.:||Working paper (Michael G. DeGroote School of Business. Management of Innovation and New Technology Research Centre)|
|Abstract:||<p>Due to changes ranging from the globalization of markets, to the accelerated improvements of technology, and from the tacit skills of knowledge workers, to the ubiquitous access we have to information, organizations must be able to learn efficiently and effectively_ in order to survive in today's increasingly fierce competitive environment. As a result of futs need, the academic field of organizational learning has prospered (Crossan and Guatto, 1996). The study of organizational learning is important because it provides academics and professionals with more insight into the system, processes and behaviours that enable organizations to generate new knowledge and adapt to change (Crossan, Lane and White, 1999). Organizational learning also enables companies to build capabilities, and intellectual capital, which can provide the firm with the ability to manage intangible resources for a sustainable competitive advantage (Bontis, 1999; Bontis et al., 1999).</p> <p>In order for organizations to keep up with the onslaught of challenges inherent in the new century they must continuously learn. From a normative perspective, groupware technologies facilitate organizational learning by providing a means of disseminating and codifying organizational knowledge. However, in practice the potential learning benefits of groupware are rarely achieved. This paper aims to contribute to the fields of organizational learning and information systems by examining possible reasons for groupware failures, which lead to lost potential learning benefits and thus unsustainable advantage. It is now common for computer applications to offer intangible, strategic benefits to organizations by supporting organizational learning behaviours (Venkatraman, 1991). From a normative perspective, groupware applications facilitate organizational learning by supporting collaboration amongst organizational group members. However, in practice, the full learning benefits of using groupware are rarely achieved because these applications are often resisted (Ciborra, 1996; Neilson, 1997; Orlikowski, 1996).</p> <p>For this study, groupware was examined using the push-pull theory of implementation, drawn from the disciplines of engineering and marketing (Zmud, 1984). The main research proposition of this paper is that groupware applications that have been introduced as a result of a need (a pull strategy) are more successful than those that are forced onto organizational members by senior management (a push strategy). Research was conducted in the United Kingdom at a global information provider (InfoProv). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a project coordinator, quality manager, user and project manager. The first two interviews focused on Teamlinks, which is an organization-wide groupware application similar to Lotus Notes. The latter two interviews focused on a Problem Management System (PMS), which is a knowledge database that is being rolled out on a global scale. Results indicate that there is a general lack of emphasis on pull strategies in groupware implementations, and that this may be contributing to their high failure rates. However, given the qualitative nature of this study, more empirical research is needed to confirm the results. Accordingly, guidelines for further research are suggested.</p>|
|Description:||<p>25 leaves ; Includes bibliographical references (leaves 23-25). ; "January 2001".</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||MINT (Management of Innovation and New Technology) Research Centre Working Paper Series|
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