E-communication of Interdepartmental Knowledge: An Action Research Study of Process Improvement Groups

E-communication of Interdepartmental Knowledge: An Action Research Study of Process Improvement Groups

Ned Kock (Temple University, USA) and Robert J. McQueen (University of Waikato, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-32-7.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter presents a review of the organizational learning literature that points to process improvement (PI) groups as an appropriate tool for organizational knowledge communication. Based on this review, the impact of support provided by a class of e-communication systems, email conferencing (EC), on knowledge dissemination in organizations is examined in the context of PI groups. Data was collected through an action research project, where the researcher facilitated seven PI groups in two organizations with the support of an EC system implemented with Novell Groupwise, and using a group methodology for PI called MetaProi. The study suggests that, overall, EC support seems to have a positive impact on knowledge dissemination in organizations when used in combination with a group methodology for PI. EC support effects on PI groups can be summarized as: (a) a reduction of the influence of distance and other physical obstacles to the participation of members from different departments in PI groups, and of the disruption that group discussions are likely to cause for individual group members, particularly when these members are from different departments; (b) a reduction of interdepartmental conflict obstacles to the formation of PI groups; and (c) an increase or decrease in individual learning in PI groups, depending on the complexity of the issues being discussed and the clarity of electronic contributions by members. Organizational implications of these research findings are discussed.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Edward J. Szewczak , Coral R. Snodgrass
Chapter 1
Walter O. Einstein, John H. Humphreys
In this Chapter’s beginning, we introduce the degree to which emerging information technologies have changed both the organizational context and the... Sample PDF
The Changing Face of Leadership: The Influence of Information Technology
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Chapter 2
Sofiane Sahraoui
Although there has been a wide coverage in the IS literature of the alignment of IT plans with organizational plans, most studies focused on the... Sample PDF
The Social Antecedents of Business Process Planning Effectiveness
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Chapter 3
Laura Lally
This chapter provides a managerially oriented analysis of the risk factors involved as Information Technology becomes a more integral part of jobs... Sample PDF
Assessing the Risks of IT-Enabled Jobs
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Chapter 4
Huub J.M. Ruel
Office work plays an important role in Western economies, and the use of office technologies in this type of work is inextricably linked. People... Sample PDF
The Non-Technical Side of Office Technology: Managing the Clarity of the Spirit and the Appropriation of Office Technology
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Chapter 5
Dianne Willis
Email has been with us now for a long time and is being increasingly adopted as a major communication tool in UK Higher Education (HE)... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Communication - The Power of Email as a Driver for Changing the Communication Paradigm
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Chapter 6
Edward J. Szewczak
Personal information privacy is arguably the most important issue facing the growth and prosperity of the Internet, especially of e-commerce.... Sample PDF
Personal Information Privacy and the Internet: Issues, Challenges and Solutions
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Chapter 7
Ned Kock, Robert J. McQueen
This chapter presents a review of the organizational learning literature that points to process improvement (PI) groups as an appropriate tool for... Sample PDF
E-communication of Interdepartmental Knowledge: An Action Research Study of Process Improvement Groups
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Chapter 8
Olivia Ernst Neece
Organizational learning is an “umbrella” term that connects a variety of topics including: learning curves, organizational memory, organizational... Sample PDF
A Strategic Systems Perspective of Organizational Learning: Development of a Process Model Linking Theory and Practice
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Chapter 9
Pak Yoong, Brent Gallupe
The objectives of this chapter are to describe the nature of reflective practice and the development of reflective practice in one human aspect of... Sample PDF
GSS Facilitation: A Reflective Practitioner Perspective
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Chapter 10
Pak Yoong, Brent Gallupe
Although electronic face-to-face meetings are increasingly being used by organizations to improve the productivity of their strategic planning... Sample PDF
Using Action Learning in GSS Facilitation Training
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Chapter 11
Thekla Rura-Polley, Ellen Baker
This chapter first examines the role of collaboration and collective learning in regional and industry-wide innovation and how remote... Sample PDF
Extending Collaboration Support Systems: Making Sense in Remote Innovation
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Chapter 12
Andrew Targowski, Ali Metwali
In this millennium, global organizations will increasingly focus on the critical value of the cross-cultural communication process, efficiency... Sample PDF
The Framework for a Cross-Cultural Communication Process Efficiency and Cost in a Global Economy
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Chapter 13
Robert W. Gerulat
The purpose of this chapter is to present data and analysis from research that focused on the human side of IT. In an effort to determine the... Sample PDF
Cultural Characteristics of IT Professionals: An Ethnographic Perspective
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About the Authors