Community and Collaboration Tools to Frame the New Working Environment: The Banking Industry Case

Community and Collaboration Tools to Frame the New Working Environment: The Banking Industry Case

Mariano Corso (Polytechnic of Milano, Italy), Antonella Martini (University of Pisa, Italy) and Alessandro Piva (Polytechnic of Milano, Italy)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-976-2.ch006
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This chapter focuses on the community and collaboration tools as means of creating business communities of practice (CoPs). First, the state-of-the art of these tools is presented with respect to diffusion and usage, and then emergent communities are analysed in terms of targets, goals, models and barriers. The research is based on 16 retrospective case studies that cover more than 50% of the banking sector in Italy by number of employees and refer to 33 communities. The findings provide interesting elements and suggestions to develop a community in a banking context. The authors aim to develop actionable knowledge to support management in understanding how to manage a business CoP, in order to create value for both the organization and its members.
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The Challenge Of A New Working Environment

Since KM became a prominent topic in management literature, various perspectives have been developed: ranging from a first, technology-focused view to the taxonomic-based standpoint; from ‘knowledge as what is known’ to the later socio-practical concept. Each perspective embodies a different role of ICT: which may be a classical information system (IS) which allows users to translate knowledge into information, as well as to extrapolate knowledge from information (technology-focused view), or the need to transfer non-codified knowledge (taxonomic-based standpoint), or a backward role with respect to managerial and organizational levers in the what is known perspective (knowledge lies in the individual mind).

Our perspective on organizational knowledge is socio-practical, and considers knowledge as a common good rather than a mere individual asset (Von Krogh, 2002). Knowledge creation and sharing are interpreted as social processes, in which the most important role is played by individuals and their relationships with others (Senge, 1990; Brown e Duguid, 1998). The creation and transfer of knowledge are considered as social phenomena and an integral part of a community (Brown et al., 1998, Wenger, 1998a). Indeed, individuals choose other individuals with whom to cooperate from beyond their structures and formal ties (i.e. departments, divisions, etc.), so creating informal networks that overlap formal, and top-down designed structures within the organization.

Among the different types of informal networks, Communities of Practice (CoPs) are the most interesting from a knowledge management point of view.

New Needs from Workers

Through communities, individuals find the answers to those needs of sociality, belonging and experience-sharing that organizations find increasingly difficult to satisfy. Moreover, through communities, firms see the possibility of finding new ways to connect people, so overcoming the geographical and organizational bonds of traditional company structures. This is a growing need considering the ‘mobile workers phenomenon’, which represents an increasingly more important share of the total workforce (Drucker, 2002; Laubacher and Malone, 2003; Corso et al., 2006) and requires different solutions compared to the traditional approaches.

It is clear that these developments have a strong influence on the working environment: on the one hand, the very concept of space changes, while, on the other, there is a different relationship between companies and employees. The latter identify less and less with their companies and are left alone with their needs and professional projects. In many cases, being a mobile worker is an obligation rather than a choice and compared to the traditional figure of the worker involves individual qualities such as independence and spirit. At the same time, the distance workers are more interested in their professional development than in personnel development policies.

For companies, all this means finding new ways to respond to the people’s needs (safety and identity, membership and sharing, visibility and status, learning and personal development), re-designing the workspace on the basis of a number of guidelines: process re-configurability and layout independence, predominance of people over ICT tools, and finally, operations, collaboration and access. In other words, processes need to be made re-configurable independently of layout and of an organizational structure that is becoming ever more fluid; the focus needs to be on people and competences with the integration of support tools and not the other way round; the system needs to be brought in line with changing operations, allowing people to work and collaborate, and access information and competences wherever they are and under all conditions.

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Miltiadis D. Lytras, Robert D. Tennyson, Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos
Chapter 1
Gianluca Elia
Many classifications and taxonomies of knowledge management tools highlight mainly specific characteristics and features of a single tool, by... Sample PDF
A Knowledge Strategy Oriented Framework for Classifying Knowledge Management Tools
Chapter 2
Mohamed Amine Chatti
Recognizing that knowledge is a key asset for better performance and that knowledge is a human and social activity, building ecologies that foster... Sample PDF
Social Software for Bottom-Up Knowledge Networking and Community Building
Chapter 3
Kevin R. Parker, Joseph T. Chao
This chapter introduces wikis in the context of social software, focusing on their powerful information sharing and collaboration features. It... Sample PDF
Weaving a Knowledge Web with Wikis
Chapter 4
Marc Spaniol, Ralf Klamma, Yiwei Cao
The success of knowledge sharing heavily depends on the capabilities of an information system to reproduce the ongoing discourses within a... Sample PDF
Media Centric Knowledge Sharing on the Web 2.0
Chapter 5
Pascal Francq
The success of the Internet has launched McLuhan’s idea of the global village. Over the years, the Internet has become a real political medium which... Sample PDF
E-Democracy: The Social Software Perspective
Chapter 6
Mariano Corso, Antonella Martini, Alessandro Piva
This chapter focuses on the community and collaboration tools as means of creating business communities of practice (CoPs). First, the state-of-the... Sample PDF
Community and Collaboration Tools to Frame the New Working Environment: The Banking Industry Case
Chapter 7
Seppo J. Hänninen, Pekka Stenholm, T. J. Vapola, Ilkka Kauranen
Knowledge sharing has a strong effect on the success of the born globals. The objective of the chapter is to create a better understanding of the... Sample PDF
Who Talks with Whom: Impact of Knowledge Sharing in the Value Network of Born Globals
Chapter 8
Stefan Hrastinski
This chapter looks at the concept of sociograms that has great illustrative importance in some circumstances, especially for studying small... Sample PDF
Illustrating Knowledge Networks as Sociograms
Chapter 9
Marianna Vivitsou, Niki Lambropoulos, Sofia Papadimitriou, Alexandros Gkikas
Social web asynchronous communication environments provide the space for content creation, idea sharing and knowledge construction within a... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 Collaborative Learning Tool Dynamics
Chapter 10
Wendelin Kupers
Based on a phenomenological understanding of knowing and knowledge in organisation, this chapter aims to contribute to an integral perspective on... Sample PDF
Knowing in Organizations: Pheno-Practical Perspectives
Chapter 11
Ourania Petropoulou, Georgia Lazakidou, Symeon Retalis, Charalambos Vrasidas
here is a growing need for systematic evaluations of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. The present chapter focuses on the... Sample PDF
Evaluating the Learning Effectiveness of Collaborative Problem Solving in Computer-Mediated Settings
Chapter 12
Jeanette Lemmergaard
This chapter introduces inter-organizational knowledge acquisition and sharing as a means to facilitate benchlearning within the field of human... Sample PDF
Acquiring and Sharing Knowledge Through Inter-Organizational Benchlearning
Chapter 13
Max Senges, Marc Alier
his chapter discusses the potential of three dimensional virtual worlds as venue for constructivist learning communities. To reach a balanced answer... Sample PDF
Virtual Worlds as Environment for Learning Communities
Chapter 14
Bonnie F. Bryson
This chapter describes the development of a knowledge management-based website that serves a community of practice within a federal agency, the U.S.... Sample PDF
Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Management (NRM) Gateway: Communities “in” Practice
Chapter 15
Cynthia T. Small, Andrew P. Sage
This paper describes a complex adaptive systems (CAS)-based enterprise knowledge-sharing (KnS) model. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model consists of... Sample PDF
A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model
Chapter 16
Reinhard Bernsteiner
This article explores how social software tools can offer support for innovative learning methods and instructional design in general, and those... Sample PDF
Facilitating E-Learning with Social Software: Attitudes and Usage from the Student's Point of View
Chapter 17
Kuldip Kaur
An important dimension in education is interaction, that is, the coming together of a number of people to discuss, debate, and deliberate about... Sample PDF
Enlivening the Promise of Education: Building Collaborative Learning Communities Through Online Discussion
Chapter 18
Karlheinz Kautz
This article adds to the discussion on knowledge management (KM) by focusing on the process of knowledge sharing as a vital part of KM. The article... Sample PDF
Towards an Integrated Model of Knowledge Sharing in Software Development: Insights from a Case Study
Chapter 19
Ned Kock
Virtual worlds can be defined as technology-created virtual environments that incorporate representations of real world elements such as human... Sample PDF
E-Collaboration and E-Commerce in Virtual Worlds: The Potential of Second Life and World of Warcraft
Chapter 20
Peter H. Jones
Proponents of the resource-based view of strategic management have argued for processes that align organizational knowledge resources to business... Sample PDF
Socializing a Knowledge Strategy
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