Web-Based Collaborative Systems and Harvesting the Collective Intelligence in Business Organizations

Web-Based Collaborative Systems and Harvesting the Collective Intelligence in Business Organizations

Khaled Saleh Al Omoush (Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJSWIS.2018070102

Abstract

The major purpose of this article is to empirically explore the role of web-based collaborative systems in harvesting the dimensions of collective intelligence and the expected outcomes. A questionnaire survey was developed to collect data from 29 firms across all industries with a sample of 239 respondents. Structural Equation Modeling, using Smart PLS was conducted to analyze the data. The results indicated that web-based collaborative systems play a significant role in harvesting the dimensions of collective intelligence, including collective cognition, shared memory, collective problem solving, knowledge sharing, and collective learning. The results also revealed the significant impact of web-based collective intelligence on the sense and response capability and on the quality and morality of organizations' decisions. In addition, the article reveals the significant impacts of BI tools and relationship quality on the role of web-based CI in achieving the expected outcomes.
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Introduction

The environment of business organizations is continuously changing at an ever-increasing pace with a wide range of highly complex and multi-faceted challenges. Business organizations have to innovate in new areas, make complex decisions, develop creative solutions, adapt and behave as human beings to ensure their survival, prosperity, and superiority. In this context, a business organization must be viewed as a complex adaptive system (Ng & Liang, 2010; Schut, 2010; Fink et al., 2017). More specifically, it can be viewed as a human system with the basic objective of pooling different human abilities and expertise to create certain synergetic effects in finding emergent and sustainable solutions to complex problems and challenges (Dumas, 2010; Nga & Liang, 2010). This perspective establishes a new approach of re-examining organizations as intelligent entities that are evolving in the same manner as biological entities that compete for survival and growth in an ecological system using their intelligence (Nga & Liang, 2010). The previous research (e.g., Zara, 2004; Staškevičiūtė et al., 2006) confirms that, an organization is intelligent only if it can nurture a high level of Collective Intelligence (CI).

The new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are making it possible to organize groups and empower people to collaborate in very new, innovative ways (Suárez Valencia et al., 2015). Web-based Collaborative Systems (W-CSs) represent the most recently discovered path for opening up the possibilities of improving CI and forming the paradigm of web-based CI that was simply inconceivable even a few years ago (Lévy, 2010; Lykourentzou et al., 2011). These systems leverage the combined efforts of very large groups of people to solve complex problems and are often referred to as CI systems (Lykourentzou et al., 2011).

Many important issues of CI have yet to be explored and are open for research. According to Hansen and Vaagen (2016), CI is still in a state where its theoretical foundation lacks clarity and internal consistency. Kapetanios (2010) clarified that the transition from personalized data, knowledge, and contents towards collectively intelligent forms of synergies in an amalgamation of humans and technology is at its infancy and raises many questions, which vary from the notion of CI to the methodologies and principles for computations and engineering of CI systems. Despite the IT revolution and the continuous growth in its role in harvesting CI, little attention has been paid to the ways in which W-CSs can contribute to harvesting CI to form the paradigm of web-based CI. Moreover, the role of BI tools and the impact of relationship quality on the role of web-based CI in achieving the expected outcomes have been largely ignored. Therefore, the present study aims to develop and empirically validate a framework for exploring the role of W-CSs in shaping the dimensions of CI and the expected outcomes. Furthermore, this study aims to investigate the impacts of BI tools and relationship quality on the role of web-based CI in achieving the expected outcomes.

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