Page |1

Author: Akwasi Fosuhene
Student Number: 468312
Course: International Business and Management Studies (Inholland U...
Page |2

Contents
Table of figures ..........................................................................................
Page |3
3.3.4 Characteristics of Collaboration ..............................................................................
Page |4

Table of figures
Figure 1. Qualitative Triangular research (adapted from Woodside) .................................
Page |5

Executive Summary
Introduction
This research, takes a look at collaboration, and how it can be enhanced using dig...
Page |6
This process of coming and working together is exemplified in their working procedure known as
collaboration. This...
Page |7
On how collaboration can be enhanced with Dropbox and SkyDrive, several organizational and social
factors were out...
1. Introduction
1.1 Background
For most people, email become the absolute collaboration tool .They communicate, share idea...
Page |9
In that respect, we carry out a comparative analysis between emails and CFCS. The first point of
comparative analy...
P a g e | 10

1.7 Risks and Limitations
Because of the sensitivity of the research matter, companies or respondents might ...
P a g e | 11
what characterizes collaboration will be made in the subsequent chapters of this research. In a bid to
get em...
P a g e | 12
Figure 1.
Qualitative Triangular research (adapted from Woodside)

7

2.2.3 Semi-structured Interviews
For th...
P a g e | 13
will be relevant for the purposes of confirmation. There are other online sources of secondary
information th...
P a g e | 14
in most of the different definitions is the ability to capture an idea and use it for the future benefit.15
M...
P a g e | 15
and varies from one person to the other. 22It is also considered the most valuable part of an
organization‘s ...
P a g e | 16

3.3 Collaboration
In order for an organization to use knowledge for their common good, they have to come tog...
P a g e | 17
set out in a way that they all have the same level of power and control. For them to reach their goal,
the di...
P a g e | 18
Knowledge Transfer: knowledge and information are not quite the same. Knowledge is built on the
basis of inte...
P a g e | 19
When people of diverse background collaborate over an extended period of time, their ways of
working and unde...
P a g e | 20
in productivity time. 53There has been some evidence to suggest that once people are distracted and
they retu...
P a g e | 21
Respondents were asked questions about their collaborative behaviors. The next set of questions was
about the...
P a g e | 22
In general, most interviewees seemed fairly pleased with their current choice collaborative tools but
did not...
P a g e | 23
Figure 4.Choice of CFCS

Answers from this seemed myriad but in all. There is a sense that email is generally...
P a g e | 24
“It depends on the person I am sharing the file with. I use both Dropbox and SkyDrive so if the
person I am s...
P a g e | 25
On CFCS, interviewees seemed to have a fair knowledge of it and were quite satisfiedwith it. It
also appeared...
P a g e | 26
In comparison to other forms of information
exchange such as face-to-face communication, as
identified by Daf...
P a g e | 27

Encoded
knowledge

Compared to the other forms of
knowledge, it is relatively easy to store,
and transfer em...
P a g e | 28
Active Learning
As identified from the interviews,
communication and asking for the
opinions of their colleag...
P a g e | 29

Concentration
Email

CFCS

Because of the ease of use of emails, it has

CFCS offers the users the ability t...
P a g e | 30
collaboration

but there are a lot of 3rd
partysolutions that allow users to.

Word and Excel, users are able...
P a g e | 31
Knowledge
transfer

Active Learning: Built features such as Bing
Save and share, document comments,
SkyDrive ...
P a g e | 32

5.3 Analysis Conclusion
The two step comparison between Email /CFCS and Dropbox/SkyDrive helped to shed more...
P a g e | 33
Building up on work: A major advantage of collaboration reduces redundancy by ensuring that the
same piece of...
P a g e | 34
encourages reciprocal behavior.

Structural
Group Policy

Collocation(
shared Space)

Geographical
dispersion...
P a g e | 35

Consideration
Factor /Step
Requirement

Capability

Service

Technology

Comment

Determine collaborative ta...
P a g e | 36

Fig.6 Flowchart of decision
making guideline.

Q4. How does email differ from CFCS as collaborative tools?
T...
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS
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Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS

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For my graduation research ,I wrote on how SMEs can have better collaboration by using cloud filesharing services. I made a comparative alalysis of two of the most popular cloud file-sharing tools on the market today; Dropbox and SkyDrive and how they relevant they can be to the collaborative workflow of the contemporary knowledge worker.

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Team Collaboration: a Comparative Analysis of Email and CFCS

  1. 1. Page |1 Author: Akwasi Fosuhene Student Number: 468312 Course: International Business and Management Studies (Inholland University of Applied Sciences) Date:September 16, 2013 Supervisor: Margriet Heesters Second Marker: Nico Jansen Topic: Team Collaboration Keywords: Knowledge Management; file sharing; collaboration
  2. 2. Page |2 Contents Table of figures ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Technical acronyms reference ........................................................................................................................................................... 4 Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................................................... 5 1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 1.1 Background................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 1.3 Research Questions ................................................................................................................................................................... 9 1.4 Purpose .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 1.5 OBJECTIVES................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 1.6 Target Group ................................................................................................................................................................................ 9 1.7 Risks and Limitations ............................................................................................................................................................. 10 2. Methodology and research design ........................................................................................................................................ 10 2.1 Research Approach ................................................................................................................................................................. 10 2.1.1 Case Study Approach..................................................................................................................................................... 10 2.2.1 Qualitative Data Collection .......................................................................................................................................... 11 2.2.2 Primary data Collection ................................................................................................................................................. 11 2.2.3 Semi-structured Interviews .......................................................................................................................................... 12 2.2.4 Behavior observation ..................................................................................................................................................... 12 2.2.5 Secondary Data (Literature) ......................................................................................................................................... 12 2.3 Evaluating Strategy ................................................................................................................................................................. 13 Reliability and validity .............................................................................................................................................................. 13 3. Literature Review ............................................................................................................................................................................ 13 3.1 Knowledge ................................................................................................................................................................................. 13 3.2 Types of Knowledge ............................................................................................................................................................... 14 3.2.1 Tacit and explicit knowledge ...................................................................................................................................... 14 3.2.2 Knowledge Worker ......................................................................................................................................................... 15 3.3 Collaboration ............................................................................................................................................................................ 16 3.3.2 Types of collaboration ................................................................................................................................................... 16 3.3.3 Factors affecting collaboration .................................................................................................................................. 17
  3. 3. Page |3 3.3.4 Characteristics of Collaboration ..................................................................................................................................... 17 Conclusion of Literature Review ............................................................................................................................................... 20 4. Empirical Study .............................................................................................................................................................................. 20 4.1 Company Profile ...................................................................................................................................................................... 20 4.2 Observations: ............................................................................................................................................................................ 20 4.3.1 Interviews ................................................................................................................................................................................ 20 4.3.2 Views on Collaboration...................................................................................................................................................... 21 4.4 Views on Email.......................................................................................................................................................................... 22 4.5 Views on CFCS .......................................................................................................................................................................... 23 4.3.3 Empirical Study Summary................................................................................................................................................ 24 5. Analysis............................................................................................................................................................................................... 25 5.1 Email vs. Cloud File Sharing and Collaborative Services .......................................................................................... 25 Information exchange .............................................................................................................................................................. 25 Knowledge Transfer .................................................................................................................................................................. 26 Co-creation................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Social Interaction........................................................................................................................................................................ 27 Concentration .............................................................................................................................................................................. 29 5.2 SkyDrive vs. Dropbox ............................................................................................................................................................. 29 Collaboration features comparison (Dropbox vs. SkyDrive) ...................................................................................... 29 Collaboration Characteristics comparison (Dropbox vs. SkyDrive) ......................................................................... 30 5.3 Analysis Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................................ 32 6 . Conclusion ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 32 6.1 Answering Research Questions ................................................................................................................................... 32 Q2. How can collaboration be enhanced through the use of both SkyDrive and Dropbox ? ...................... 33 Q. 3. What are suitable guidelines for selecting an appropriate CFCS vendor for the purposes of team collaboration? .............................................................................................................................................................................. 34 Q4. How does email differ from CFCS as collaborative tools? ................................................................................. 36 6.2 Discussions................................................................................................................................................................................. 37 6.3. Recommendations ................................................................................................................................................................. 38 6.4 Reflection and Future Research ......................................................................................................................................... 39 References.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 41
  4. 4. Page |4 Table of figures Figure 1. Qualitative Triangular research (adapted from Woodside) ...................................................................................... 120 Figure 2.Interviewees responding to if they will describe themselves as collaborative or not. ........................................ 21 Figure 3 Interviewees responding how much time they spend on email in a day ................................................................. 20 Figure 4.Choice of CFCS ................................................................................................................................................................................. 23 Technical acronyms reference API : Application Programming Interface CFCS : Cloud File Sharing and Collaborative Services IMAP : Internet Message Access Protocol ISP: Internet Service Provider (ISP) MAPI : Messaging Application Programming Interface MTA : Message transfer agent MUA : Mail-user agents POP : Post Office Protocol IM: Instant Messaging
  5. 5. Page |5 Executive Summary Introduction This research, takes a look at collaboration, and how it can be enhanced using digital collaborative tools such as emails and cloud filesharing collaborative services. It presents views and analysis of stakeholder perspectives. By way of a two-way comparative analysis, first between emails and CFCS and subsequently between Dropbox and SkyDrive, we are able to interpret, analyses and understand what it takes to collaborate using these tools. It is aimed at analyzing how knowledge workers are able to improve collaboration through the use of email and CFCS. For that reason three research questions were examined. Main Research Question 1. How can collaboration between knowledge workers be characterized? Sub Research Questions: 2. How can collaboration be enhanced through the use of both SkyDrive and Dropbox? 3. What are the suitable guidelines for selecting an appropriate CFCFS for the purposes of team collaboration? 4. How does email differ from CFCS as collaborative tools? Methodology The research methodology discussed how the research was carried out. The research was primarily based on a two-step comparative analysis, first between Email and CFCS and subsequently between Dropbox and SkyDrive. It was as well qualitative and exploratory in nature. Data collection was done by way of a qualitative triangular approach. This allowed for a multi-faceted data collection based on semi-structured interviews, relevant literature and observation of the target group. Literature Review In the literature review, different relevant literature are presented and reviewed. In this, theories such as knowledge and collaboration were outlined. The importance of knowledge in an organizational context was looked at. It became clear that knowledge existed in two main forms; tacit and explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge iseasily shared and expressed, while the tacit form was hard to explain and share with others. For organizations to be able to harness their collective knowledge, they needed to a way through which they can bring their individual knowledge together.
  6. 6. Page |6 This process of coming and working together is exemplified in their working procedure known as collaboration. This leads to further discussion and deliberation on the issue of collaboration. By discussing collaboration, it became apparent that collaboration comes about as a result of several reasons and factors. Empirical Study For the purpose of gathering primary data, an empirical study was done. This was carried out through semi-structured interviews and user behavior observation. The interviews, participants were asked a number of questions on email, teamwork, knowledge sharing and CFCS. From the views expressed and observations, it was evident that; Interviewees had fair knowledge of collaboration as it was part of their working process, however some had a few reservations about its use. Most of them were open to the idea of sharing their knowledge and expertise with their other colleagues. Interviewee‘s use of email was quite extensive and it also appears that they have a fair knowledge on sharing and collaboration solutions. Email use was deemed to an important part of their work, however it was also affecting their concentration levels due to some issues associated with email usage. On the issue SkyDrive and Dropbox, most interviewees appeared to prefer Dropbox. Analysis Once the details of the literature review and empirical study was done, we went on further to analyze the data. This is done by way of a comparison between email and CFCS and also between Dropbox and SkyDrive. It was discovered that email and CFCS had a different way of approaching the issue of collaboration. Email tended to be suitable for the purposes of exchanging knowledge while CFCS was more appropriate for informationsharing. There were as well other important differences that were discovered. Between Dropbox and SkyDrive, it became evident that while both services are quite similar in what they can do, little difference distinguishes them. With Dropbox offering more flexibility while SkyDrive offers more features but less flexibility. Conclusion The research questions that were asked earlier on in the research were answered based on the information gathered. On the question of how collaboration can be characterized, an outline of how collaboration occurs through the work of knowledge workers were detailed. These were based on the characteristics identified during interviews and literature review. It includes social interaction, building up on work, lending expertise, use of technology and block of uninterrupted time. On the question of how email differs from CFCS as a collaboration tool, several reasons based on the literature and empirical study were given.
  7. 7. Page |7 On how collaboration can be enhanced with Dropbox and SkyDrive, several organizational and social factors were outlined. On the questioned of guideline for selecting the appropriate CFCS, a guideline was given with steps of things to consider when selecting a particular CFCS. On top of these solutions, a number of recommendations were given. Parts of these recommendations included policies to set out when infusing CFCS into an organization. In addition to answering the research questions, the conclusionsection takes a shot at making a few recommendations based on knowledge gained from the literature and empirical studies.
  8. 8. 1. Introduction 1.1 Background For most people, email become the absolute collaboration tool .They communicate, share ideas, collaborate on projects and share documents through it. Without giving it much thought , email has become a cornerstone for the office communication enhancing the ability of the modern knowledge worker to collaborate. With most modern email applications, it is possible to manage a to-do-list and schedule appointments with other colleagues. As a collaborative tool, the influence of the emails goes far and wide. However, in recent times, emails have come under somescrutiny. This has caused a few companies to take some drastic measures to address the situation. Atos, a Paris based global IT solutions provider recently introduced a ―zero email‖ policy. To their defense, they cited several reasons why email has become counterproductive to their core business, with employees spending a sizeable amount of work time on managing emails.1 With the use of email on the decline, knowledge workers are looking for other ways through which they can collaborate and work with one another. Most employees abandon the collaborative professional tools that they are provided with. Instead they use their own tools of preference which they find easier and comfortable to use. Example of such tools that they tend to use are Dropbox and SkyDrive. Collectively they are termed as cloud and file sharing services (CFSC) In recent times, there has been a sharp increase in the use of CFSC. It has grown to become extremely important collaborative tool allowing knowledge workers to share documents and other information effortlessly. With that they are able to work on the same document and keep track any changes that might be as and when they happen. Shared files can then be accessed from a wide range of devices and platforms. Unlike email it gives way for very little distraction, one only shares files only with the person you are interested in sharing with and no time is spent weeding out spam and unsolicited documents. It has proven to be important because it encourages collaboration through teamwork. 1.2 Statement of the Problem. Collaboration has been identified as a way knowledge workers put their collective knowledge to use. However the use of technology at the work place for collaboration has gained tremendous momentum over the last couple of years. This increase has the potential to affect our understanding of how knowledge workers naturally collaborate. In view of that it becomes important to understand and characterize collaboration among knowledge workers. With the use of Email and CFCS playing a important part of the contemporary knowledge worker‘s collaborative workflow. Both services tackle the issue of collaboration from a completely different angle. As a communication tool, email has become a vital tool for creating meeting appoints, progress report and feedback loop. It has become a one-stop shop for collaboration drawing on the strength of being simple and easy to use. CFCS on the other hand helps to share files, collaborate on files either in real time or when the user wants to. With both services holding the promise of offering a better collaboration experience, it has become important to look into how CFCS compares to emails as a tool for collaboration for the modern knowledge worker. 1 Taylor P. (2013)Atos‘ ‗zero email initiative‘ succeeding - FT.com. 2013. Atos‘ ‗zero email initiative‘ succeeding - FT.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/11384220-8761-11e2-bde6-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2SYpkfLhP. [Accessed 07 May 2013].
  9. 9. Page |9 In that respect, we carry out a comparative analysis between emails and CFCS. The first point of comparative analysis will be between emails and CFCS and secondly between two of the most widely used CFCS — Dropbox and SkyDrive within the context of collaboration. 1.3 Research Questions Main Research Question 1. How can collaboration between knowledge workers be characterized? Sub Research Questions: 2. How can collaboration be enhanced through the use of both SkyDrive and Dropbox? 3. What are the suitable guidelines for selecting an appropriate CFCFS for the purposes of team collaboration? 4. How does email differ from CFCS as collaborative tools? 1.4 Purpose From every indication, new file sharing and collaboration services are proving to be very disruptive on the way businesses manage knowledge and information.2 It has therefore become important to have a better understanding of this ―new‖ disruptive service offering. The purpose of this study is to shed more light on collaborative and file sharing services and how they are able to solve the problem of collaboration.This is done by way of a comparative analysis of two of the most prominent service providers. 1.5OBJECTIVES The main objective of this research is to understand how collaboration exist in the work of knowledge workers. With this understanding, we are able to come up with ways through which collaboration can be enhanced by making use of CFCS. Tounderstand how collaboration occursin the work of knowledge workers To use the knowledge gained from the understanding of collaboration of knowledge workers to recommend ways through which collaboration can be enhanced by making use of CFCS. To create a sustainable guideline for the selection of a suitable CFCS for use by knowledge workers. To understand the differences between CFCS and email as collaboration tools. To understand organizational and user behavior in respect to the use CFCS for collaboration. To coordinate relevant literature on collaboration with empirical findings. 1.6 Target Group The det The details of this research is aimed relevant information for small to medium scale enterprises who are interested in adopting file sharing and collaborative services into their work. They would want to know how it measures up against emails. 2 Barret V.Dropbox Takes On Rivals With New Sharing Tool - Forbes. 2012. Dropbox Takes On Rivals With New Sharing Tool - Forbes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/04/23/dropbox-takes-on-rivals-with-new-sharing-tool/. [Accessed 07 April 2013].
  10. 10. P a g e | 10 1.7 Risks and Limitations Because of the sensitivity of the research matter, companies or respondents might not always be willing to divulge into all aspects of the interview questions that have been asked, and even when they do, verification will be quite difficult. This will be a challenge to the research process. The observational aspects are also likely to be affected by the fact that responds are aware that they have been watched. This has the potential to affect the validity of the results. Again the research will be limited to only two service providers; Dropbox and SkyDrive. The CFCS environment is a very competitive one, things tend to change quite fast . Because of this, views and opinions expressed in this report can end up becoming irrelevant ina relatively short period of time. 2. Methodology and research design The Methodology and research design aims to explain how the research will be carried out . Moreover it explains reasoning behind the choices of methods for the gathering and analysis of data. 2.1 Research Approach The research will be a two-step comparative analyses; first between email and cloud file sharing and collaborative services and subsequently between two of the most popular CFCS. (Dropbox and SkyDrive). It will as well be exploratory in nature. The reason being that it seeks to gain a better understanding between different elements (emails and CFCS) Yin categorizes research into two main types, inductive and deductive. The inductive method is applied when there is the need to come up with a theoretical framework based on primary data. A deductive method is used when using previously developed theories to analyze data that are gathered. Since this research will not be developing new theories but rather use existing theories and use it to analyze qualitative data, the choice is made to go with the deductive approach. 3Through this approach, the research aims to gain a better understanding of the thinking process, relevant user scenarios and other important factors that ought to be considered. This will be done by reading relevant literature on the subject and recognizing key theoretical concepts that have been identified by previous researchers on the subject. Once that is done, it will then be compared to details of semistructured interviews and real life observations to come up with conclusions. 4 2.1.1 Case Study Approach To better understand what entails collaboration among knowledge workers, there is the need to see how knowledge workers typically collaborate. This is done by selecting and focusing on a ―case company‖. This case company serves as focal point on which the research will be based. Employees, of the focus company will be observed in their working environment and asked a series of questions to ascertain their views on team work and collaboration. By doing this we are able to get a better understanding of the procedures, thinking process, intents and influences. Based on the views expressed in the interviews, observation and other relevant literature gathered, a detailed analysis of 3 4 Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage p.90 Woodside, A. 2010. Case Study Research: Theory, Methods, Practice, Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. 1st ed. P225-339
  11. 11. P a g e | 11 what characterizes collaboration will be made in the subsequent chapters of this research. In a bid to get empirical insights on collaboration among knowledge workers, we will use Addikt Design Movement as the case company. The Client: The client for this research is a London based management consultant known as Catarina Conteiro. Catrina Monteriro helps small to medium scale creative companies find better ways of doing work. 2.2 Data Collection 2.2.1 Qualitative Data Collection If the aim of the research is to gather data in relation to thoughts, insights and motivations, a qualitative research should be employed. However, if the aim is to put theories to test through the analysis of statistical data, then a quantitative research method should be used. Since the aim of this research is intendedat getting understanding of the aims and views of people by asking them to shed more light on their decision, the decision is made to go with a qualitative research.5 2.2.2 Primary data Collection Primary data is the part of empirical data for a research which is gathered solely for the purposes of that research. It is raw in form without any processing or analysis. For the purposes of this research, primary data will be gathered and compared side by side with secondary data for subsequent analysis. For this research, primary data will come from two sources, first from user observation through and secondly from the semi-structured interview. Further detail on the semi-structured interview is discussed in additional detail below. Since the research is exploratory in nature and individual cases hard to identify, a purposive sampling is employed. This also implies that the judgment of the researcher is used in selecting the respondents in order to come up with suitable persons to gather the required data. 6 For other parts, there is the need to observe user behavior pattern for things like speed, ease of use, accessibility to collect primary data. This will later on be compared against the results from the semistructured interview and secondary data for confirmation. 5 6 Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. p92 Mark N.K. Saunders, 2009. Research Methods for Business Students (5th Edition). 5 Edition. Prentice Hall.p.234- 250
  12. 12. P a g e | 12 Figure 1. Qualitative Triangular research (adapted from Woodside) 7 2.2.3 Semi-structured Interviews For the purposes of gathering primary data, a semi structured interview of eight persons from the focus company is carried out. The process is conducted without deviating from the set of topical areas. However, it also makes room for interviewees to shed more light on their experiences and explain themselves as and when required. Depending on the answer given a follow up question or clarification will be asked. This will allow interviewees to better explain their peculiar situations and perspectives which will add up to the richness of data. In the course of the semi-structured interview, key points from the respondents will be noted down. (A copy of the interview questions can be found in the appendix of this document.) 2.2.4 Behavior observation The questions that respondentswere asked are individual user scenarios of email and CFSCs. In that they will be asked about their normal user patterns, how they collaborate with it, how they perceive the different tools and a host of other related questions. 2.2.5 Secondary Data(Literature) Secondary data imply the use of data that was collected for the purposes of another research. It is important because it allowed the researcher have anunderstanding of whatever problems that might exist prior to the research. Secondary data is important because it is relatively easy to come by and helps fill the gaps that primary data will leave. It also provides a useful point of reference and comparison.8 Nevertheless, primary data does not always come in handy as it might be missing some key elements that are required to make analyses. The original researcher did the research, seeking answers to unique problems, and this is reflected in the kind of data that they are likely to collect. The secondary data for this research are information from the respective websites of the respective service providers as well as other online resources. For this research, multiple secondary sources are used. One of such secondary sources is International Data Corperation (IDC) which has done a comparative of CFSCSs. However, data from IDC is not wholly relevant to research because their research subjects only include Dropbox and not SkyDrive.9 Irrespective of this. Their data and finding 7 Woodside, A (2010). Case Study Research: Theory, Methods, Practice, Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. 1st ed. Secondary Data - Meaning, its advantages and disadvantages. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/secondary_data.htm. [Accessed 01 May 2013]. 9 IDC Analyzes Three Key Competitors in Worldwide Cloud File Sharing and Collaboration Services Market and Outlines a Structure for Evaluating Vendor Capabilities - prUS23508312. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23508312#.UWwYMbVHKSo. [Accessed 02 May 2013]. 8
  13. 13. P a g e | 13 will be relevant for the purposes of confirmation. There are other online sources of secondary information that needs to be considered. 2.3 Evaluating Strategy Reliability and validity Observing high reliability validity guarantees that quality and the objectivity of the research. To achieve this, the results have to be in a way that it can easily be reproduced if repeated by the same researcher or another one. This ensures that the details of the research are reliable and that they can be trusted. 10 Objectivity matters because the report could set as a backdrop for further research. Objectivity requires of researchers to be ―precise, unbiased, open, honest, receptive to criticism, and so on." 11If the details are too subjective rather than being objective, it puts the prospects for future research that will be based on it in jeopardy. 12 Generalizability The issue of generalization goes back to the reason why Addikt was selected as a focus company. They were selected for the collaborative nature in which and as well as their profound use of technology in their daily activities. This ensures that the interview participants are fairly representative of knowledge workers. 3. Literature Review In this part of the research, we discuss the underlying concept of knowledge and collaboration. Looking at these concepts paves way for a better understanding and characterization of collaboration knowledge workers. 3.1 Knowledge The business dictionary terms it as ―Strategies and processes designed to identify, capture, structure, value, leverage, and share an organization's intellectual assets to enhance its performance and competitiveness.”13 In their Managing organizational knowledge as a strategic asset, Smith and Bollinger explained knowledge as ―resource that is valuable to an organization’s ability to innovate and compete‖. Another definition describes it as ―general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles‖.14It is worth noting that while there is no uniform definition of knowledge, a key attribute 10 Kvale, S. 1996. Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. SAGE Publications, London. Discussion on the potential for objectivity in research. 2013. Discussion on the potential for objectivity in research. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bethd.ca/webs/pnsresearch/objtiv.html. [Accessed 07 May 2013]. 11 12 Discussion on the potential for objectivity in research. 2013. Discussion on the potential for objectivity in research. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bethd.ca/webs/pnsresearch/objtiv.html. [Accessed 07 May 2013]. 13 What is knowledge management? definition and meaning. 2013. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/knowledge-management.html. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 14 Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.
  14. 14. P a g e | 14 in most of the different definitions is the ability to capture an idea and use it for the future benefit.15 Moitra argues strongly against the notion that knowledge can be quantified and traded as a commodity, he rather argues that knowledge ought to be looked from a human perspective, where it can be seen as something that resides in the minds of people and how they exhibit it to others through their actions they make. Moitra‘s definition of knowledge falls very much in line with that of Nonaka and Takeuchi,16 whose description has become a very influential one. They interpret it as something that is engrained in actions of people, which is shown through their actions. Davenport and Prusak are two renowned authorities on knowledge management defined knowledge as ―framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information‖.17 In that, they illustrate knowledge having building blocks, which start from gathered data that can be transformed into tangible information to form of knowledge. Tuomi, however disagrees. He argues against the common notion that bits of data make information which in turn forms knowledge. Instead, he believes that knowledge can come before information. 18 While there have been numerous attempts to define knowledge, it is soon realized that the social aspect is the common line that runs most of the definitions. 3.2 Types of Knowledge 3.2.1 Tacit and explicit knowledge As illustrated in the preceding part, defining exactly what knowledge is can prove to be no easy task. It is suggested that part of this reason could be because of the way knowledge is acquired and utilized. In order to understand knowledge, it is important to get a better appreciation of the different forms through which it can exist. This pursuit has allowed for several categorizations based on the background of the people who were categorizing them.19 However, from a modern academic perspective, most academics seem to agree that knowledge exists in two main forms – explicit and tacit. Explicit knowledge is the part of knowledge that is tangible, it is something also referred to ―articulated knowledge‖ that can be expressed and stored in the form of numbers, formulae, codes or even musical notes. A key characteristic is its ability to be communicated from one individual to the other. 20 It is also referred to as the ―know-what‖ rather than ―know-how‖. For instance if an organization needs information on their sales revenue for the past five years. This kind of information does not require a lot of thinking. Tacit knowledge on the other hand is that part of knowledge that is abstract, to put it vaguely, a kind of knowledge that is stored inside people‘s head that cannot be expressed easily. 21 To put it aptly ―we know more than we can tell‖ Because of its vagueness, it is often hard to define; it is context based 15 Deependra Moitra. 2002. Knowledge and Process Management Volume 9 Number 1 pp i–ii Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge creating company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation. New York: Oxford University Press.14(3), 419-436. 17 Gupta, B., Iyer, L. S., & Aronson, J. E. (2000). Knowledge management: practices and challenges. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 100(1), 17-21. 18 Tuomi, I. (1999). Data is more than knowledge: implications of the reversed knowledge hierarchy for knowledge management and organizational memory. In System Sciences, 1999. HICSS-32. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 12pp). 19 Frost A., Types of Knowledge. 2013. Types of Knowledge. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/differenttypes-of-knowledge.html. [Accessed 07 May 2013]. 20 Dhanaraj, C., Lyles, M. A., Steensma, H. K., & Tihanyi, L. (2004). Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: the role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(5), 428-442. 21 Dhanaraj, C., Lyles, M. A., Steensma, H. K., & Tihanyi, L. (2004). Managing tacit and explicit knowledge transfer in IJVs: the role of relational embeddedness and the impact on performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(5), 428-442. 16
  15. 15. P a g e | 15 and varies from one person to the other. 22It is also considered the most valuable part of an organization‘s information bulk. This is because; it can put an organization on a competitive edge. It is also conceived that the most organization‘s inability to innovate or come up with new ideals dwells on their inability to tap in their massive tacit knowledge resources. 23 Ikujiro Nonaka popularized the distinction between the two forms of knowledge. In a book titled ―The Knowledge Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation‖, Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi presented a model on how tacit and explicit knowledge interrelate with each other in the creation of knowledge. Their assertions were heavily influenced by Michael Polanyi, however, in another expose; Walsham criticizes Nonaka for having deviated from the original Polanyi‘s ideas and goes on to state that the idea of explicit knowledge is a self-contradictory one. He states "… Hence, all knowledge is either tacit or rooted in tacit knowledge. A wholly explicit knowledge is unthinkable.‖ This is explained in the notion that words, maps, graphs and all what is known as explicit knowledge are strictly meaningless and thus explicit knowledge is tacit knowledge stripped of its tacit coefficient. 24 While this is an interesting take on Nonaka‘s position; the intentions of Nonaka noble. By categorizing knowledge into tacit and explicit form, it becomes easier to understand the different forms of knowledge, which in terms makes gives a broader perspective to its understanding. This was not very clear in the initial description by Polanyi. Nonaka and Takeuchi have identified that, tacit knowledge stands the better chance of being transferred from one person to the other as they collaborate or work on something together. Due to its personal nature, a level of trust needs to be established. 25 From all this, it can be argued that tacit and explicit knowledge intertwined, and while they are different from one another, they can work hand in hand complimenting each other. Explicit knowledge can help us to get insights into things like past events. 3.2.2 Knowledge Worker Owing to the decline of the industrial age, there has been a shift from routine/manual tasks to a more knowledge based economy. 26 A key player in the ―new‖ knowledge based economy is conceptualized in what is known as the knowledge worker. The definition of knowledge worker in itself can be quite broad. Tom Davenport terms a worker with ―high degrees of expertise, education or experience and the primary purpose of their jobs involves the creation, distribution, or application of knowledge‖.27 Generally, they are workers who are allowed certain level of discretion and expected to use their knowledge to come up with new products, ideas or build up on what has already been done. In spite of this, certain class of worker who are generally considered knowledge workers find themselves in fairly routine work with very little room for discretion. The broad nature of knowledge worker‘s definition makes it a bit problematic since concepts associated with one kind of knowledge work might not be applicable to the other. 22 Nonaka, I. (1994) ‗A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation‘. Organizational Science, 5(1), 14-37. Gamble, P. R., & Blackwell, J. (2001). Knowledge management: A state of the art guide. Kogan Page Limited. P.22 24 Walsham, G. (2001). Knowledge Management: The Benefits and Limitations of Computer Systems. European Management Journal, 19(6), 599-608. 25 Foos, T., Schum, G., & Rothenberg, S. (2006). Tacit knowledge transfer and the knowledge disconnect. Journal of Knowledge Management, 10(1), 6-18. 23 26 Drucker P. 1959. Landmarks of Tomorrow: A Report on the New ‘Post-Modern‘ World. Harper & Row: New York. 27 Kogan, S. L. and M. J. Muller (2006). ―Ethnographic study of collaborative knowledge work‖. IBM Systems Journal 45(4): 759-771.
  16. 16. P a g e | 16 3.3 Collaboration In order for an organization to use knowledge for their common good, they have to come together and share their knowledge through collaboration. Collaboration becomes an important focus for this research because it serves as a backdrop for which the comparison between the emails and CFCS and subsequent analysis between Dropbox and SkyDrive is made. Depending on industry and context, the definition of collaboration may differ. The Merrian-Webster dictionary defines it as ―to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor‖28. In his ―collaboration for a change‖, Arthur Himmelman described it as ―exchanging information, altering activities, sharing resources, and enhancing the capacity of another for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.‖ 29 Within the organizational context, the business dictionary describes it as a way of affecting ―know how‖ to others and thus it becomes a key component in helping to fostercompetitive advantage. 30 This definition, however, is more towards the idea of influencing knowledge, which is a one-way direction flow of information (unidirectional). Thomson and Perry have a more thorough definition, they describe it as ―a process in which autonomous actors interact through formal and informal negotiation, jointly creating rules and structures governing their relationships and ways to act or decide on the issues that brought them together; it is a process involving shared norms and mutually beneficial interactions‖31 This definition dwells heavily on a another definition from Wood and Gray. 32The emphasis of this description is that fact that the different actors are self-sufficient in their own regard and by coming together; they are able to complement each other. 3.3.2 Types of collaboration In a white paper by Callahan et al., they argue that the older models on collaboration placed more emphasis on teams and other types of collaboration. In their model, they caste a slightly wider scope and identified three types of collaboration which are; team collaboration, community collaboration and network collaboration. 33 Community collaboration:the kind of collaboration where individuals come together based on shared interest. The idea is to learn from the sharing of insights rather than working on projects together. Network collaboration: they describe this as the kind of collaboration where individual members might not even know each other, there are no predefined roles or goals. Individuals make contribution based on their interest and expertise. Due to the unstructured nature, there could be an overwhelming amount of knowledge and contribution, which in turn requires the collective group to filter out. Team collaboration:this is the kind of collaboration where, individuals set out to work together to achieve a common goal. This type of collaboration normally has a team leader however; it tends to be 28 Collaborate - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2013. Collaborate - [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collaborate. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 29 Himmelman, A. (1995). Collaboration for a Change. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. P 3-5 30 What is collaboration? definition and meaning. 2013. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/collaboration.html. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 31 Thompson M., Perry J., (2006) Collaboration Processes: Inside the Black Box p.1-3 32 Toward a Comprehensive Theory of Collaboration. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science June 1991 vol. 27 no. 2 139-162 33 Callahan, S. et. al., Building a collaborative workplace p.1-4
  17. 17. P a g e | 17 set out in a way that they all have the same level of power and control. For them to reach their goal, the different team members must fulfill their respective tasks. For the purpose of this research, our focus will be on this kind of collaboration. 3.3.3 Factors affecting collaboration The factors that affect people‘s ability to collaborate differ according to their respective industry and the working relationships. In a study by Pallot et al34, they wanted to know more about distance factors that affect collaboration. They tasked survey respondents to about factors that affect their ability to collaborate. They identified them to be, structural, social, technological and legal. Social: Within the social dimension, they identified that trust to be a very important factor that has the potential to promote collaboration or inhibit it. By having trust among different members, they are able to open up to them and share accordingly. As trust exist so does the team‘s ability to be aware of the capabilities and strengths of the other team members. If one team member is aware of what the other members are up to and what challenges they might be facing, they will be able to adapt their support and make room for them. Structural: within the structural factor, Pallot et Al identified several factors that come to play here. Some of them were incentive, leadership, balance of power and expertise. When respondents were asked on their views of structural factors. They identified leadership and incentive as two main factors and while other factors such as power and expertise were of importance, there were of a lower priority to them. This sounds reasonable as the direction of collaboration, good leadership can better team performance. 35 Technological: Within the sphere of the technological dimension, they identified several factors that come into play. Factors that respondents chose were common description and lack of meaning in the use of technology. These two major technological factors they claim, affected their ability to collaborate. Other factors such as unbalanced use of technology and lack of media naturalness while not as important came ahead as strong factors. Technology is often seen as a tool for the facilitation of collaboration but in order for it to act as catalyst for collaboration, has to fit the working relation of the people using it 3.3.4Characteristics of Collaboration In a study by Herman Miller, researched into different collaborating behaviors and come up with the following as being integral parts of collaborative efforts. They are information exchange, co-creation, social interaction, knowledge transfer and concentration. Information exchange : The Collins Dictionary describes it as simply as a “discussion that involves exchanging ideas and knowledge‖36 The Cambridge dictionary goes a step further , giving a slightly more detailed explanation . In that they describe it as ―the act of people, companies, and organizations passing information from one to another, especially electronically, or a system that allow them to do this.‖37 34 Pallot et al. ( 2008)Collaborative Working Environments: Distance Factors Affecting Collaboration p.2-5 Walker J.: Save the World With Collaborative Leadership. 2013. Jeffrey Walker: Save the World With Collaborative Leadership. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-walker/save-the-world-with-colla_b_2857294.html. [Accessed 05 May 2013]. 36 Definition of information exchange | Collins English Dictionary. 2013. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/information-exchange. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 37 Information exchange noun - definition in Business English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionary Online. 2013. [ONLINE] Available at: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/business-english/information-exchange. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 35
  18. 18. P a g e | 18 Knowledge Transfer: knowledge and information are not quite the same. Knowledge is built on the basis of intelligible pieces of information and as such, knowledge transfer is quite different from information exchange. Within an organizational setting, there are further divisions of both tacit and explicit are explained with the table on the next page. Tacit Knowledge Explicit Knowledge Embrained Knowledge:Highly conceptual and depends on one‘s cognitive abilities. Embedded Knowledge: Knowledge acquired through rigid systematic routines. Happens as a result of role, expertise Encoded Knowledge: Basically information that is expressed in the forms symbols, letters, and signs and can be acquired from books, manuals, databases etc. Embodied Knowledge: Knowledge acquired as a result of being part of the environment through social acquisition or engaged in the practices of a society or organization. Encultured Knowledge:Having an understanding of an idea due to socialization or accustomed to a society or organization. Table 2. Types of tacit and explicit Knowledge.38 In a study by Argote and Ingram,39 they described knowledge transfer as ―the process through which one unit (e.g., group, department, or division) is affected by the experience of another.‖ Singly and Anderson had earlier on provided another definition, describing it as ―how knowledge acquired in onesituation applies (or fails to apply) to another.‖ The difference between the two definitions is that while Argote and Ingram believe that the application of the transfer knowledge forms part of the transfer process, Singly and Anderson40 believed the inability for the knowledge to be applied can also be considered as knowledge transfer. They also maintain that the transfer of knowledge in an organizational setting is often hard to achieve since not all forms of knowledge can be communicated easily. This is conceptualized in a notion known as the ―stickiness of knowledge Co-creation Co-creation has been described as a form of business strategy that emphasizes on creating unique experiences for customers through active engagement in the decision making process of a product development or service delivery.41 This definition of co-creation seems to dominate most research, but there are as well other forms of co-creation which do not quite involveworking with customers or clients. Herman Miller defines it as ―working with others to achieve some new outcome.‖42 However in spite of the difference in definitions, they both address the same idea of working together to come up with something new. Social Interaction 38 Collins H. M. The Structure of Knowledge. 1993. SOCIAL RESEARCH 60(1):95-116 Argote, L.; Ingram, P. (2000). "Knowledge transfer: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms". Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 82 (1): 150–169. 40 Szulanski, G. (2000). The process of knowledge transfer: A diachronic analysis of stickiness. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 82(1), 9-27. 41 What is co-creation? definition and meaning. 2013. What is co-creation? [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/co-creation.html. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 42 What It Takes to Collaborate (2012)[ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hermanmiller.com/content/hermanmiller/english/research/researchsummaries/what-it-takes-to-collaborate.html[Accessed 09 June 2013]. 39
  19. 19. P a g e | 19 When people of diverse background collaborate over an extended period of time, their ways of working and understanding towards one another and what they are working on change in the course of time. 43 The understanding that they have on what they are working on is shaped by the individual‘s perception of different, continuous events which are characteristics that comprise of customs, routines and intents.4445 Both Guidon and Feltovich et al. agree that although collaboration on project might be purely based on technical expertise, the underlying concepts of the collaborative process are based on social interactions between the different actors.46 Since there are no fundamentally agreed parameters for evaluating and discussing Social Interaction which is relevant to our topic, we proceed to create a mix of five parameters. These are taken from different sources and will be used to evaluate CFCS and email in the analysis section. Initiative Active learning Consensus building Reciprocal change Conversation Depending on the collective knowledge of a group to help solve problems soliciting views and insights on the difficulties.47 The tendency to learn from each other‘s experience and expertise on a subject. Coming to an agreement through the solicitation of ideas from different group members As collaborators interact with each other, they are able to impact the actions and conduct of one another. 48 The ability to question, inform, mediate and dealing with conflicting views during collaboration.49 Concentration There has been a great deal of research on the issue of distraction or lack of concentration at the workplace50While others are of the view that interruptions can be advantageous in certain circumstances such as asking for colleagues‘ opinion on something. Other researchers including Mark et al. have argued that interruptions have the potential to disrupt the flow of work, inhibiting one‘s ability to concentrate on the work at hand. 51Some have even sought to justify that lack of concentration can have severe impact on productivity levels. 52 Interruptions at the work place comes in different forms, ranging from responding to phone calls, replying emails, switching between computer applications, and a host of others. McFarlane et al. argue that interruptions do not only break the flow of work, but also causes what they term as resumption lag as there is additional time is needed to be able to return to the level of concentration once the pattern is broken. The resumption lag when put together can amount to an enormous loss 43 8. C.L. Dym, R.E. Levitt Toward the integration of knowledge for engineering modeling and computationEngineering with Computers, 7 (1991), pp. 209–224 44 T. Erickson, W.A. Kellogg Social translucence: an approach to designing systems that support social processes. ACM Transactions on Computer–Human Interactions, 7 (No. 1) (2000), pp. 59–83 45 Sowa, J. F., & Zachman, J. A. (1992). Extending and formalizing the framework for information systems architecture. IBM systems journal, 31(3), 590-616.IBM System Journal, 31 (No. 3) (1992) 46 P. Feltovich, R. Hoffman, K. Ford (Eds.) (1997), Human and Machine Expertise in Context, AAAI Press, CA (pp. 247–291 47 Rimor, R., Rosen, Y., & Naser, K. (2010). Complexity of social interactions in collaborative learning: The case of online database environment. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 6, 355-369. 48 Social Interaction Technologies for Business | Just another WordPress.com site. 2013. Social Interaction Technologies for Business [ONLINE] Available at: http://drjohnartz.wordpress.com/. [Accessed 09 June 2013]. 49 Soller, A. (2001). Supporting social interaction in an intelligent collaborative learning system. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IJAIED), 12, 40-62. 50 Hutchings, D.R., Smith, G., Meyers, B., Czerwinski, M., and Robertson, G. Display space usage and window management operation comparisons between single monitor and multiple monitor users. In Proc. AVI 2004, ACM Press (2004), 32–39. 51 Mark, G., González, V., and Harris, J. No task left behind? Examining the nature of fragmented work. In Proc. CHI 2005, ACM Press (2005), 321–330. 52 .Perlow, L.A. The time famine: Towards a sociology of work time. Admin Sci Quarterly 44, 1 (1999), 57–81.
  20. 20. P a g e | 20 in productivity time. 53There has been some evidence to suggest that once people are distracted and they return back to what they are working on, they still have traces of what they did during the time they were distracted in their minds. Conclusion of Literature Review The idea of knowledge and the different forms through which it can exist were discussed. It became clear that the idea of knowledge and what it really entails is hard to explain and that it is an important organizational asset. Information is the building blocks of knowledge and thus are not the same as often presumed. There are two types of knowledge; tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is the kind of knowledge that is hard to express and often difficult to deconstruct and capture. Explicit knowledge is the kind of knowledge that can easily be shared and expressed. Academics often play down on explicit knowledge it is easy to express and share nature. Tacit knowledge is regarded as the kind of knowledge that helps to set one originations apart. The distinction between the two forms of knowledge was popularized by Ikujiro Nanoka. For an organization to put their collective knowledge to use, they need to work together to achieve a common purpose. This brings about the need for collaboration as it become a good way through which they can impact on each other by putting their knowledge to use. As with most concepts associated with the sharing and use of knowledge, it is quite complex to fully deconstruct, especially when the human factors are taken into consideration. 4. Empirical Study This part of the research is used in presenting empirical study which was gathered from both first hand and second hand sources. 4.1 Company Profile Addikt Design Movement: Addikt is a design motion design agency based in Amsterdam, Netherlands but with offices in Mumbai India as well. They work on a variety of projects from designing websites, television commercials, viral videos to apps for smartphones and tablets. For most of the projects that they work on, they do so in terms which can be anything from three to six people or even larger. Depending on how large the project they are working on is, they hire the services of a freelancer or design consultant. 4.2 Observations: To further understand working habits of participants and tools that were under study, it was important to conduct observations that will help explain user behavior which wasnot possible through interviews. 4.3.1 Interviews The interviews for this research were done in a semi-structured way. This was done to give the interviewer and interviewees more room to expand on their views or the questions or answers to the questions they were being asked. The interviews were divided into three main sections. Starting off with general questions that weremeant to establish a baseline with interviewees. Followed by this are questions on collaboration. 53 McFarlane, D. & Latorella, K.A. The scope and importance of human interruption in human-computer interaction design. Hum-Comp Inter 17, 1(2002), 1-61.
  21. 21. P a g e | 21 Respondents were asked questions about their collaborative behaviors. The next set of questions was about the use of emails and email practices they employed when communicating with other colleagues when collaborating. 4.3.2Views on Collaboration Respondents were asked a series of questions about their thoughts on collaboration. Some of the responseswere; *(Bold italic text denotes interviewee response) “Working on a project together, each participant doing what he does best and helping out even beyond his own task when needed.” “Collaboration is essential if you work on a big project” “Working on stuff together” Will you describe yourself as collaborative ? Complicated No answer Yes I would 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Number of interviewees Figure 2.Interviewees responding to if they will describe themselves as collaborative or not. Once the understanding their understanding collaboration has been established, they were asked if they would describe themselves as collaborative. From this, the next question that was asked was what ways of collaboration existed in their work. To this question, interviewees gave a wide variety of answers ranging from sending files, messages, communicating on projects to distributing parts of project works. Moving on, there become the need to get to know what collaborative tools they currently use and what their views on them were. To this, respondents answered with different tools such as; Wetransfer , Dropbox, Skype, MSN Messenger, Gmail, Box.net, Microsoft Projects, Outlook , Whatsapp, Google Docs, Google hangout , whiteboard to smartphones. Interviewees indicated that they use a combination of tools to collaborate. On what they thought of the current collaborative tools that they use, some of the answers were as follows; “It doesn’t matter to me, I’m flexible. I like Dropbox but hate when it gets filled up by too big teams. I like Box too, nothing on my own computer.” “They are just tools and depend on someone taking a lead. If the group leader says we should use Dropbox Wetransfer or SkyDrive, I’ll have no objections. I’m quite comfortable with either of them.” “They are good enough to help us collaborate” “Email is good. Like regular mail but without envelopes. And fast.”
  22. 22. P a g e | 22 In general, most interviewees seemed fairly pleased with their current choice collaborative tools but did not appear to be overly excited about them. To get a better understanding on their thoughts of teamwork, interviewees were asked to describe their understanding and what they typically do during teamwork. On this, some of the answers were; “Getting together, explaining the situation and after that see what you could do to better the situation.” “One project where every individual has to work hard to achieve a goal” “We will normally sit together to discuss the details of what we need to work on, then we divide the tasks according what expertise. We’ve done this so many times that we don’t have to really think about it, everyone knows what is expected of them” This appeared to be a slightly difficult question and while othersanswered them easily with little effort, others did not quite get what the question and had to be further clarified. To most of the interviewees, teamwork has become second nature to them and not something that they have to really think about in detail. 4.4 Views on Email Once the views on collaboration have been solicited, interviewees were further asked a set of questions to get an understanding of their email usage and behavior. This started off by asking them about what ways they use emails to collaborate. On this, some of the views were; “We sometimes work with people who are not always at the office so we use email to communicate with them” “I hate it when I am half way in between my work and someone taps me on the shoulder to ask me something about the project. I prefer to be asked when I’m free or have the question send through email so I can answer in my own time. Email is good for this.” How much time do you spend on emails in a day? Three hours One hour or less 0 1 2 3 4 5 Number of interviewees Figure 3 Interviewees responding how much time they spend on email in a day What CFCS do you use? Box.net Dropbox 0 1 2 Number of interviewees 3 4 5
  23. 23. P a g e | 23 Figure 4.Choice of CFCS Answers from this seemed myriad but in all. There is a sense that email is generally used as an ―enforcer‖ to remind what have already been discussed on a face-to-face basis. When asked if they considered email as a collaborative tool, they answered as follows; To understand their email usage behavior, they were asked about how they generally use email to collaborate. On this, some of the responses given were; “We communicate through our mail. That is the way that we can let each other know how and what.” “We use email in all aspects of our collaboration, it handy when you want to communicate with other team members so that you don’t have to disturb them. It gives them the freedom to answer at their own time. “ Most of the answers given, it was clear that they emails played a very important role in their work. However, one very important and distinct answer that was given by one of the respondents was that; “I am usually quiet at meeting, but email gives me the voice and sense of authority that I don’t have during the meetings. Another major benefit is that, email allows me to archive information that I receive, this way I can easily refer back to previous messages without having to ask for it.” These responses characterizes the way most interviewees use email in a way that they could not express as this respondent aptly puts it. To sum it all up, they were asked on their reflection on email usage to which they responded as follows; “Ican think about what needs to be said, keep track of dates and when, takes time of actual work” “E-mails can be good if working in remote. E-mails can be bad if your email recipient sits at the table right next to you.” “On the positive side, it is fast, easy to use, everyone uses it, on the negative side; small file transfer size, no direct communication,” “Negative: it has no overviewpositive: it’s easy to communicate with” Through these response, it is quite clear that while email is an important tool in their work, there is still a lot to be desired in its service delivery. 4.5 Views on CFCS In the last set of question, respondents were asked to share their views on the use of CFCS. This started off by asking respondents what Cloud File Sharing and Collaboration service that they use. On this, they answered as follows; On this, responds were varied, but most respondents seemed to either prefer Dropbox or use a combination of different services. To further expand on this, they were asked about their reason for choosing either of the solutions. On this they answered as follows; “I prefer Dropbox because it is very easy to use”
  24. 24. P a g e | 24 “It depends on the person I am sharing the file with. I use both Dropbox and SkyDrive so if the person I am sharing the file with uses Dropbox, then I use Dropbox. Dropbox is my first choice.” “I used SkyDrive once and it was fine, but I mainly use Dropbox now” The responses given indicated there was a strong preference for Dropbox even when they have been exposed to other services. Respondents were later asked how they use either Dropbox, SkyDrive or CFCS in general. They responded as follows; “For what I know, the handy part of it is that you can share big files. I prefer wetransfer as a collaborative tool.” Another responded had a similar view, she said; “I sometimes like to work on files when I am away from this office, this way, I am able to keep copies of files online and able to work on them when I’m home” The last set of questions on the use of CFCS Interviewees were asked about their best and worst experience of using CFCS. On this one interviewee answered; “I’m flexible. I like Dropbox but hate when it gets filled up by too big teams. I like Box too, this way I don’t have to keep too many files on my computer” Another responded by saying‖ “Sometimes, you think you’ve shared a file with others only to hear from them that they never received it. But it usually works so I can’t complain much” When asked about how you would describe either SkyDrive or Dropbox as a collaborative tool, here one of respondents said: “I think that the fact you can get 2 ends accessing the same doc on SkyDrive is pretty cool!” When asked specifically about Dropbox, this is what one of the participants had to say “Dropbox enables us to share larger files and we don’t have to worry about backing it up since it does it automatically. It allows us to work more closely than we ever did. The good thing about it is that we don’t have to change our working habits because it fits right in.” 4.3.3 Empirical Study Summary Through the empircal study, interviewees were asked a series of questions to help them express their views on collaboration, team work, use of CFCS and email. Based on the views expressed by the interviewees, it becomes clear that ; Collaboration is quite easily understood by all interviewees however, some of them perceive the idea of collaboration to be a bit complicated. Interviewed participants had a fair knowledge of email and were quite satisfied with it but wished it could do better. They generally use it as a communication tool. However, there appears to be some problem with email use for collaboration such as email overload ,lost mails and clutter. It was also clear that some spent a lot more time on email than they should. In general, interviewees appeared satisfied with their choice of CFCS, however, it did not come off as being deeply used in their work.
  25. 25. P a g e | 25 On CFCS, interviewees seemed to have a fair knowledge of it and were quite satisfiedwith it. It also appeared that they had experienced using different CFCS but generally tended to be more receptive of Dropbox. A few respondents seemed quite intrigued by the real timecollaboration features in SkyDrive. 5. Analysis This section contains an analysis of the results based on the literature review and details from the empirical study. The analysis is done in two phases. The first part is a comparison between Email and Cloud File sharing collaboration services in general followed by a comparison between SkyDrive and Dropbox. 5.1 Email vs. Cloud File Sharing and Collaborative Services In the literature review, five core characteristics of collaboration were discussed. Based on these characteristics, emails and CFCS are discussed with insights from interviewees and other relevant literature. Information exchange Email CFCS Since email is widely used as a communicative tool, using it for information exchange is easy and only requiresa very low entry barrier. Compared to email, CFCS does not quite offer the same level of communication freedom since it is basically used in sending and retrieving files. However, it excels at exchanging specific pieces of information when the parties exchanging the piece of information have already communicated and have established a relationship. Email allows for context and because of that, establishing personal interaction (which is an important component for information exchange) is relatively easy to achieve. CFCS only allows users very limited personal interaction due to its limited communication functionality. However, it can be assumed that before people start sharing files, they have already established context and some level of personal interaction. The challenge only arises, if there is the need to further deliberate on what has already been discussed. Email is a bi-directional form of communication and as such makes it a great tool for information exchange however, for the purposes information discovery as identified Savolainen54, it is not very practical. CFCS is even more limited when compared to email in its ability to help users to discover new information because files are only shared with ―trusted‖ individuals. However, been associated with knowledge people might increase the chance of getting access to relevant information. 54 Savolainen, R. (1995) "Everyday life information seeking: Approaching information seeking in the context of 'Way of Life.'" Library and Information Science Research 17, 259-294.
  26. 26. P a g e | 26 In comparison to other forms of information exchange such as face-to-face communication, as identified by Daft and Lengel55 , email is at a disadvantage due to its unnaturalness which is created by the digital divide. CFCS also faces the problem of digital divide and unnaturalness but even more severely than email. Both services have different approach to offering information exchange service. However, CFCS appears to have a slight edge over email due to its information sharing abilities. Knowledge Transfer Type of knowledge Embrained knowledge Embodied knowledge Encultured knowledge Embedded knowledge 55 Email CFCS Since email is a communicative tool, it can be used in the transfer of embrained knowledge to some extent. However, its ability is severely limited due to the difficulty and complexity of transferring of tacit knowledge in general. CFCS‘s ability to help transfer embrained knowledge is almost non-existent due to its lack of direct communication features. Due to its ability to facilitate communication, it can be considered as a tool that can aid in the transfer of embodied knowledge. It can be assumed that once an individual communicates with his/her colleagues through the use of email for a prolonged period of time, they are bound to acquire some of their knowledge through their continued social interaction. Its ability to help in the transfer embodied knowledge is hampered by the fact that it does not have the ability to allow users to interact with one another socially. Socialization can be created and natured and maintained through the use of email and therefore can help in the transfer encultured knowledge. Not quite easy to transfer through the use of email due to the stickiness embedded knowledge. Quite difficult to transfer this kind of knowledge through the use CFCS as it does not seem to offer any kind of meaningful social interaction. Seemingly impossible to transfer this kind of knowledge with CFCS. Daft, R. L., & Lengel, R.H. (1986) Organizational requirements media richness and structural design. Management Science, 32(5), 554-571.
  27. 27. P a g e | 27 Encoded knowledge Compared to the other forms of knowledge, it is relatively easy to store, and transfer embedded knowledge through the use of emails. Can be an excellent tool en helping to store and transfer encoded knowledge largely because of its ability to organize, store retrieve and share files. Although they both go a long way of mitigating the problem of knowledge transfer, they both struggle in their ability to help in the sharing of knowledge. This is largely due to the problem of knowledge transfer as identified in the literature. However, they both seem to have less difficulty in the transfer of encoded knowledge which is more or less explicit knowledge in nature. That said, email appears to have a slight advantage in this regard. Co-creation Email CFCS Email allows individuals to co-create but very limited in its ability .This is largely due to several restrictions of emails such s file size limitations. CFCS allows collaborators to co-create rather effortless with people who are not even part of their team collaborating. With CFCS, clients can request to join and offer feedback on a project. As identified in the empirical study, Interviewees will often work on projects with clients by sharing with them the progress of their work while asking for feedback. Most CFCS allow users to add additional messages to individual files and folders, this makes it an easy to provide feedback when co-creating. Although email can be limited in its ability to enable collaborative teams to co-create. It can be useful instances where times when the co-creation involves active feedback. However, it has the potential to be abused of the ground rules are not set from the beginning. On the issue co-creation, CFCS appears to have a slight advantage as it allows for the easy sharing of files been worked on. However, if the kind of collaboration has a lot of communication component, such as the rapid exchange of feedback, then Email will have an edge. Social Interaction Type of knowledge Initiative Email CFCS Allows team members to depend on their collective knowledge to solve problems but unlike CFCS, information has to be requested each time rather than being there as and when required. As identified in the interviews, this can sometimes be a nuisance. CFCS enables collaborative teams to depend on their collective knowledge to solve problems by accessing from the same pool of files and folders.
  28. 28. P a g e | 28 Active Learning As identified from the interviews, communication and asking for the opinions of their colleagues through the use of email was quite rampant. Some even preferred using email in certain instances than speaking to them face-toface. It can therefore be said that email allows for active learning because when people interact, they normally learn from each other. Consensus building Building consensus with email is possible but can be difficult. Naturally for consensus to be built it requires listening to the ideas and opinions of others, which can include verbal and non-verbal cues, email does not quite offer that richness of communication and therefore makes it very hard but not impossible. There is also the potential that other group members may not even read mails or respond in time therefore protracting the process. Reciprocal change As identified in several parts of this research, reciprocity is a very important fact in collaborating. Most people are more open to the idea of working together with people they have good interpersonal relationship with. Emails makes good on this by providing ways where collaborators are able to share knowledge and expertise with each other in a simple and effortless way. Conversation Unlike email, CFCS has its own way of enhancing active learning. Due to its capability to allow users to work or collaborate on the same files and folders at the same time, they are able to learn from them in a realtime. However, learning also involves asking questions, and clarification, which is something CFCS is not very good at due to its limited capacity as a communicative tool. CFCS does not quite offer an avenue for consensus building. CFCS also provides a good avenue for reciprocal behavior, Most CFCS have ―shared folder‖ where team members are able to create and share from a common folder. Due it email‘s strength a good CFCS is again hampered by its communicative tool, it fosters deficiency as a communicative tool. conversations, allowing users to question, inform, mediate and deal with pertinent issues. As one of the interviewees explained, email offers the user the voice and authority to speak on issues that they could otherwise not have during a face to face interaction. Because social interaction requires some level of interface, it becomes difficult to achieve with CFCS due to its synchronous nature. Email goes to an extent to alleviating this by offering ways for personal interaction. However, email is still limited on howto sustain personal interaction.
  29. 29. P a g e | 29 Concentration Email CFCS Because of the ease of use of emails, it has CFCS offers the users the ability to concentrate on the potential to be abused, causing problems the actual work they are doing without having to with email overload. In a research by Mark et worry about being interrupted. Most CFCS can be set al, they identified email overload as a cause up to share files with colleagues automatically. This of high stress levels. saves times and reduces the tendency to be distracted from real work. However, as one interviewee said, he preferred that colleagues email him when he is busy with work rather than interrupting on a face-to-face basis. In this instance, email can be said to be good at helping the user to concentrate on the work at hand so that he can respond to the concerns of his other colleagues when less busy. CFCS are generally expected to work at all times, but in times when they do not quite work, users will have to resort to other forms of sharing files such as emails. When this happens, it defeats the whole idea of helping it users to focus on real productive work. 5.2 SkyDrive vs. Dropbox Since some of collaborative characters have already been discussed, we proceed to carry specific collaborative features between the two service providers. The comparative analysis will be done in two stages, first between, first between their collaborative features and subsequently between their collaborative characteristics. Collaboration features comparison (Dropbox vs. SkyDrive) Dropbox Version Tracking Restore deleted files Multiple folder Synchronization Password Protected Files SkyDrive Allows users to keep track of different versions of saved files with date and time the files were created and or modified. Packrat feature allows any deleted file to be restored Users are able to track multiple versions of files of the same file but limited to only a selection of file types. Allows files deleted from 30days or less to be restored Through the desktop and web applications, users can sync multiple files and folders across different devices. Feature absent Allows for synchronization of only individual folders. Upload file size limit (web) Limited to 5Gb Real-time File Does not quite allow users to collaborate on files in real-time Allows for password protected files 2Gb limit Through Office webapps and the latest editions of PowerPoint,
  30. 30. P a g e | 30 collaboration but there are a lot of 3rd partysolutions that allow users to. Word and Excel, users are able to collaborate on files at the same time. Public File sharing Files can be shared with members who are not even part of the team by just providing them with a public download link. Files and folders comments and discussions Users are able to add comments to files and folder Files can be shared publicly but allows the user to determine the accessing permission such as the ability to only read or read and modify. Allows users to add comments to files and folder. File sharing and user role management When files are shared with a group, the one who shares the files can determine privileges and permissions assigned to everyone the file is shared with. Example, certain files can only be granted viewing rights but not editing rights. SkyDrive Offers the same level of control on files sharing and user role management as Dropbox does. Integration with other tools (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook etc.) Does not offer the same level of integration with other software applications as SkyDrive but there are a number of third party solutions that allow some level of integration. ―Events Tab‖ offers a comprehensive overview of files and their user history. Users in a group are able to see what files have been shared, who have accessed or modified them. Offers focus on providing deep integration with other Office applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and OneNote. File Access notification during collaboration. SkyDrive does not quite offer the same level of detail of user history as Dropbox . The ―Recent tab‖ offers a simple overview of accessed files and folders . Overall, Dropbox seems to offer a lot more because it givesthe user more control and sharing options while SkyDrive goes for simplicity which makes it limited option. Collaboration Characteristics comparison (Dropbox vs. SkyDrive) Information Exchange Dropbox Integrates with Twitter and Facebook for easy sharing. SkyDrive Bing Save and share feature integrates directly into SkyDrive making it an easy to save and share search results. It also allows users to save and share Bookmarked webpages. This can be good for information discovery. Directly stores word, excel and PowerPoint documents for subsequent sharing.
  31. 31. P a g e | 31 Knowledge transfer Active Learning: Built features such as Bing Save and share, document comments, SkyDrive becomes a good tool for active learning. Consensus building : Limited possibility Social Interaction Has the same limitations in transferring tacit knowledge as Dropbox but offers a lot of features that enable the storing and sharing of knowledge. Moreover, its built-in mail client makes it easy to provide context when sharing information therefore making it slightly better for the purposes of knowledge sharing. Active Learning: Active learning is only possible through the discussion and comments on files and folder making it quite limited in that regard. Co-creation Transferring of tacit forms of knowledge is very minimal if not impossible. However transferring of explicit knowledge (such as encoded and embedded knowledge) is possible and enhanced by the several file sharing features. With Shared folders, Dropbox allows users to share parts of a collaboration work with others that may not be part of the team (example clients). They are able to offer feedback through the comment section of the shared documents. Initiative: Sharedfolders features allow for the dependence of the collective group knowledge in tackling difficulties. Consensus building : Limited possibility Reciprocal change: Sharing and collaborative features makes it easy to share therefore encouraging reciprocity. Concentrati on Conversation:Conversation can only be achieved through shorts comments provided when sharing files making it a very limited possibility. Requires very limited user interaction therefore allowing users to concentrate on ―real work‖ Offers some level of co-creation capabilities through the ―shared folder‖ however, to offer the same level of control and oversight as Dropbox. Initiative: Shared folders andemailintegrationallows for the Reciprocal change: Similar to Dropbox. Conversation: Conversation can only be achieved through shorts comments provided when sharing files making it a very limited possibility. How the similar capability as Dropbox Comparison between Dropbox and SkyDrive shows the inherent strengths and weakness of the two service. Because of email integration of Bing, it makes it a slightly better tool for information exchange. However, Dropbox gets an advantage when it comes to co-creation because it offers lot more flexibility and options when sharing is considered.
  32. 32. P a g e | 32 5.3 Analysis Conclusion The two step comparison between Email /CFCS and Dropbox/SkyDrive helped to shed more light on what the different services have to offer. In that it was discovered that; Email and CFCs have a different approach to the information exchange, but CFCS appeared to have advantage. Knowledge sharing appears to be a problem for both solutions due to the inherent difficulty of transferring knowledge. However, CFCS comes off as being better equipped at handling co-creating. Social interaction proves to be a bit challenging for CFCS due to the communication factor while email does a relatively better job at that. On face value, Dropbox and SkyDrive appear to be quite similar but subtle differences in how they approach the same problems make them different in some ways. SkyDrive offer best value when it comes to support for Office application while Dropbox rely on third party solutions to achieve the sameeffect. Although both services have their strong points, Dropbox offers more flexibility and as such makes it a better tool in some ways. 6 . Conclusion In this final chapter of the research, we discuss the different findings of this research, seek answers to the research questions that were asked at the beginning and reflect on the work done so far. In this research, the theory of knowledge was analyzed. This was done to pave the way for a better understanding of knowledge management which was the fundamental theory behind this study was done. Perspectives from different scholars on the subject of knowledge, the ways though which it existsand its management in the current work environment were asked. In addition, collaboration was also looked into. All these were done to get a deeper understanding of how teams collaborate and how best they can improve it using technological solutions such as email and CFCS. 6.1 Answering Research Questions Q1. How can collaboration between knowledge workers be characterized? Collaboration amongst knowledge workers existin different forms. Based on the characteristics of collaboration identified in the literature review together with the interviews and observation, we proceed to analyze what constitutes collaboration among knowledge workers. Social Interaction and communication: As it became evident in the discussion of collaboration and interviews, social interaction is a rather important aspect of collaboration. Knowledge workers are able to solve problems by talking their problems with each other through formal or informal channels. Formal channels existin the forms of meetings where they talk about their issues they might be having and ask for support. Information channels can also exist in the form of discussion outside of working hours. This can also include minor interactions such as asking for clarification and relaying. Carrying out a task together: Knowledge workers collaboration makes it possible to carry out to carry out a time limited assignment together. Depending on the amount of work to be done, tasks are divided among different knowledge workers and has to be completed within a predetermined timeframe.
  33. 33. P a g e | 33 Building up on work: A major advantage of collaboration reduces redundancy by ensuring that the same piece of work is not done by different people at the same time. This entails that once a portion of a work has been done by a colleague , another can pick up from where the previous person left off and build on what they have already by either improving it or looking up loopholes that were missed by the previous person. Lending Expertise: Since knowledge workers‘ work primarily involve putting their expertise in a particular field to use, it might also be the case that they might not always have the required skill in every aspect of what they are doing. This means they will have to depend on the expertise of other colleagues in order to understand, or complete what they might be working on. Block of uninterrupted time: Since knowledge workers work entail the use of their cognitive skills in order to carry out their portion of work during collaboration. They typically need a block of uninterrupted time in which they will be able to think, reflect in order to be able to carry out their work. Use of technology of technology: The use of technology has become an important component for the average knowledge workers collaborative activities. This ranges from communication, co-creation to social interaction during collaboration. The extent to which technology affects the work varies from one industry to the other as well as job specifications. Q2. How can collaboration be enhanced through the use of both SkyDrive and Dropbox ? As already indicated in several parts of this research, both Dropbox and SkyDrive have compelling features that can enhance collaboration among teams. However, to put all that in proper perspective, it is important to refer back to some the literature earlier. Together with the opinions and user scenarios identified during the observation, it becomes clear which areas of collaboration needs to be enhanced, and how Dropbox and SkyDrive can mitigate the identified challenges. There are several ways through which collaboration can be enhanced through the use of Dropbox and SkyDrive, but in an effort to make it more streamlined we adopt a more simple approach. Referring to Pallot et al56, they identified three main factors affecting collaboration. We use the three identified factors and measure them against the some of the other views expressed on collaboration as well as the inherent strengths of Dropbox and SkyDrive. Dropbox SkyDrive Social Leadership Reciprocity 56 With the ―Admin Console‖ feature, team leaders are able to monitor the activities and performance of team members during collaborations. Provide Feedback on specific files and folder through the comment system. Because of the several sharing features embedded in, collaborators are encouraged to share, this With tools features as Bing search and space, public folder and group folders, users are encouraged to share. Pallot et al. ( 2008)Collaborative Working Environments: Distance Factors Affecting Collaboration p.2-5
  34. 34. P a g e | 34 encourages reciprocal behavior. Structural Group Policy Collocation( shared Space) Geographical dispersion As one of the interviewees intimated, one main gripe of using Dropbox is when a team member fill folders with files without properly labeling them. This can be curtailed if team come up with policies for using Dropbox. This way they prevent common collaboration problem. To eliminate problem common collaboration, ―version history‖ allows teams to keep track of all the changes on a file by providing different versions of the same file based on date and who modified changes to them. This can avoid common collaboration clashes and missing files. Shared Folders feature enhances collaborating, by creating a sense of collocation by having common files at a central location. Shared Folders acts as a common space for sharing. Teams located across different geographical locations can enhance their collaboration through the use real time collaboration features. With Co-authoring feature, teams are able to collaborate on the same document or file at the same time. Multi-platforms support ensures that users have access to their files on different devices. This ensures that collaboration can occur even if the users are away from their work computer. Allows files and stored folders to be accessed on a multitude of deices including smartphones, tablet, laptops and desktop computers. Technological Multi-platform setting Interoperability There are several 3rd party solutions that allow Dropbox to work with many different software application that people use and are familiar with. This reduces learning curves and ensures that it fits into the current user behavior rather than the user With direct integration with Microsoft Office (word, PowerPoint, Excel), it enhances collaboration by making it easy to work directly with tools people already know and use. Q. 3. What are suitable guidelines for selecting an appropriate CFCS vendor for the purposes of team collaboration? Based on the views expressed by interviewee‘s observations and relevant literature on the subject, there is a possibility to suggest a framework that can help the decision making processes less jarring.
  35. 35. P a g e | 35 Consideration Factor /Step Requirement Capability Service Technology Comment Determine collaborative tasks, working mechanisms and procedure. By coming up with the requirement, the user determines what they want from the service even before consideration. This is done by thinking of working procedures, protocols, team culture and other relevant factors. Evaluating capability allows prospective user to know what the different services have to offer. Evaluate capabilities of services available (in this case SkyDrive and Dropbox). Compare features based on the requirement. Evaluate level of performance and determine if it fits into the requirement or not. If an organization uses other tools for work, determine the level of integration with current tools. ( example, Word, PowerPoint, Photoshop , Excel) For service to be considered it has to work to an expected level. It works below expectation or current collaborative tools then another service can be considered. Any collaborative tool considered should work fit into the current working tool and as such, its level of integration/ interoperability ought to be considered.
  36. 36. P a g e | 36 Fig.6 Flowchart of decision making guideline. Q4. How does email differ from CFCS as collaborative tools? Through the empirical study, literature review and subsequent analysis, we proceed to enumerate the following as the core difference between email and CFCS as collaborative tools. Email Has a strong basis for communication features therefore makes it a strong communication tool for collaboration. Information flow is two-way (asynchronous) and therefore not real time. CFCS Communication features are a bit lacking Information flow is synchronous and real time , making an effective tool for real time collaboration

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