Hybrid Synergy for Virtual Knowledge Working
Niki Lambropoulos (London South Bank University, UK), Panagiotis Kampylis (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), Sofia Papadimitriou (Greek Educational Television, Greek Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, Greece), Marianna Vivitsou (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Alexander Gkikas (Greek Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, Greece)
Copyright: © 2009
Recent rapid technological advancement has influenced communication and information management. In addition, it has facilitated collaboration, an interactive process that engages participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently. Using new technologies for remote collaboration from U.K., Finland, and Greece, we created our own collaboration and creativity technique as best practices for our team by utilizing an adaptation of Collaborative E-Learning and Six Thinking Hats. We call this model for knowledge working to enhance collaborative creativity Hybrid Synergy. The question under investigation was “What tools, methodologies, techniques, and practices can support collaborative creativity of multidisciplinary teams for virtual knowledge working?” The results from the study conducted in an online course verified the importance of the individual contribution for the development and evolution of a virtual team as a whole. Furthermore, the propositions suggested the use of specific techniques and methodologies can enhance technology enabled organisational change.
Knowledge Workers As Agents Of Change
Knowledge workers are the employees who know more than anyone else about their organization (Drucker, 1966, 1973). They are the ones who, by virtue of their position or knowledge, are responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to contribute, perform, obtain results, and share knowledge with other co-workers. These individuals are involved in occupations heavily reliant in knowledge, such as research and development, education and consultancy, and are mostly likely to be driven by the satisfaction of their work (Reilly, 2005). According to Reilly (2005), knowledge workers can be seen as an “awkward squad” by managers, as they seem intolerant of unnecessary rules. He says that establishing relatively autonomous groups within organisations to generate knowledge has been common for research and development purposes. These kinds of groups create knowledge communities built up from informal networks among peers. These knowledge communities explore new ideas and generate knowledge for the organization, which prevents knowledge hoarding, allowing valuable knowledge to be passed on within the organization.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Collaborative Creativity: The analytical framework that investigates the role of individuals, the contexts, the processes, the products, and the team dynamics in a situated context in order to provide specific co-creativity techniques and methodologies.
Hybrid Synergy: A method of written communication analysis for collaborative creativity.
Six Thinking Hats: This technique is a “thinking tool” that was created by Edward de Bono. The six colored hats represent six different, but complementary, dimensions of human thinking that can be used in complex decision-making processes.
Social Capital: Refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions. Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society—it is the glue that holds them together (The World Bank).
Virtual Knowledge Workers: The employees who, preferring working online, know more than anyone else about their organization, and by virtue of their position or knowledge, are responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to contribute, perform, obtain results, and share knowledge with other co-workers.
Collaborative Learning: Takes place when learners work in groups on the same task simultaneously, thinking together over demands and tackling complexities. Collaboration is here seen as the act of shared creation and/or discovery. Within the context of electronic communication, collaborative learning can take place without members being physically in the same location (UNESCO).
Technology-Enabled Organisation Change: Change implemented in an organization based on collaborative creativity and transformational leadership.