The intranet as actor:       the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingPresented byHazel HallSenior LecturerSchool of C...
The intranet as actor:         the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingIntranets in large, information-intensive orga...
The intranet as actor:      the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingRecent work  – identifies that companies implemen...
The intranet as actor:       the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingPrevious work   – numerous difficulties of intro...
The intranet as actor:       the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingEarly work   – operation and enhancement of comp...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingThis work   – sociotechnical analysis of knowle...
The intranet as actor:           the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing    1995      1996      1997     1998      1...
The intranet as actor:           the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing    1995      1996      1997      1998     1...
The intranet as actor:           the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing    1995     1996      1997     1998     199...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995      1996      1997    1998      1999    ...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995      1996      1997     1998     1999    ...
The intranet as actor:       the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing1995     1996     1997     1998      1999     20...
The intranet as actor:           the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collectedSources100+ documentsFormal in...
The intranet as actor:                     the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingDate               Data           ...
The intranet as actor:                     the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingDate               Data           ...
The intranet as actor:                   the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingH:                         Who contr...
The intranet as actor:                   the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingH:                         Who contr...
The intranet as actor:         the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collected      Data analysed into finding...
The intranet as actor:          the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingLines of workGoing concerns-   Overview of KM...
The intranet as actor:the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing                   Production lattice, infrastructure &...
The intranet as actor:          the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingLines of work                Production latti...
The intranet as actor:         the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collected       Data analysed into findin...
The intranet as actor:         the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing                                              ...
The intranet as actor:             the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing                    Policy documentation  ...
The intranet as actor:             the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing                    Policy documentation  ...
The intranet as actor:         the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collected       Data analysed into findin...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet1. Furnish individuals w...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet - some intended by firm...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet - some tie to previous ...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet - some novel1. Furnish ...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet    Power1. Furnish indi...
The intranet as actor:         the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingAccounting for multiple rolesShared perception...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingAccounting for failure of system to deliver as ...
The intranet as actor:        the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingAccounting for emergence of these findingsConsi...
The intranet as actor:          the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingReferencesHuysman, M. & De Wit, D. (2002). Kn...
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The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing

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Hazel Hall's paper presented to the International workshop on understanding sociotechnical action, Edinburgh, 3-4 June 2004. The manuscript for the published version of this paper is available from http://drhazelhall.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/2004_hall_sociotech_edin.pdf. The material presented here draws on the findings of Hazel Hall's doctoral research, the full details of which are available from http://hazelhall.org/publications/phd-the-knowledge-trap-an-intranet-implementation-in-a-corporate-environment/

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The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing

  1. 1. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingPresented byHazel HallSenior LecturerSchool of ComputingNapier University, Edinburghh.hall@napier.ac.ukhttp://www.bim.napier.ac.uk/~hazel/esis/hazel.html 1
  2. 2. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingIntranets in large, information-intensive organisations – are useful – are used – are “successful”… but often fail to deliver on exactly what is expected of them 2
  3. 3. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingRecent work – identifies that companies implement sub-optimal systems – make suggestions on how to avoid this e.g. Huysman & De Wit (2002) 3
  4. 4. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingPrevious work – numerous difficulties of introducing new technologies into large, distributed firms – specific problems with changing established work practice related to knowledge sharing • staff pre-occupied with billable client work • staff reluctant to share “currency” for future career success Orlikowski (1996) 4
  5. 5. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingEarly work – operation and enhancement of computer implementations are compromised by complexities of shifting social and technical relationships Kling & Scacchi (1982) 5
  6. 6. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingThis work – sociotechnical analysis of knowledge sharing practice in large, distributed, case study organisation – develops subject of ICTs and knowledge sharing – clarifies the (multiple) role(s) of the intranet in knowledge sharing – highlights issues of status and power – demonstrates importance of research approach in the generation of findings 6
  7. 7. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Intranet adoption Formalisation of KM Doubt 1 2 3Phase 1UK - demo national intranet created 1995, formal trial 1996, “live” 1996Global - global intranet initiated 1997 7
  8. 8. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Intranet adoption Formalisation of KM Doubt 1 2 3Phase 2UK - larger centralised KM function, corporate briefing, KM staffappointed across businessGlobal - launch of global intranet 8
  9. 9. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Intranet adoption Formalisation of KM Doubt 1 2 3Phase 3Intranets - integration plans abandoned, global system becomes portalKM - budget cuts, US KM function to close, career anxieties, knowledgesharing concerns expressed at highest levels 9
  10. 10. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Intranet adoption Formalisation of KM Doubt 1 2 3Plans - corporate documentation on policyPractice - corporate documentation on implementation 10Supplemented with interview data from KM directoratestaff
  11. 11. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Intranet adoption Formalisation of KM Doubt 1 2 3Plans - as for 1995-2000 Additional sourcePractice - as for 1995-2000 on practice - interview dataSupplemented with interview data as before from KM staff 11
  12. 12. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Intranet adoption Formalisation of KM Doubt 1 2 3 Awareness Entry Fieldwork 12
  13. 13. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collectedSources100+ documentsFormal interviews with 3 members ofKM Directorate, plus ad hoc queries20 in-depth interviews with KM staff 13
  14. 14. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingDate Data Source8 November 2001 Functionality – technical (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, Slow loading of UK intranet pages: load time of 12 November 8) seconds unacceptable.8 November 2001 Functionality – technical Discussion forums: Internal Communications (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, November 8) Sample extract of reviewing documentation and issues of discussion8 November 2001 forums. Functionality – technical (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, coded notes from Nimda virus: disruption caused by Nimda virus November 8)8 November 2001 discussed. Content – external Factiva: Factiva available from 30 November 2001. (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, November 8) company8 November 2001 Content – external Investext: desktop access to Investext launched 9 November 2001. (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, November 8) documentation8 November 2001 Policy – games (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, “It was agreed that protocols should not permit November 8) games on websites”8 November 2001 History – investment (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, Budget cut impact on projects – examples: ICT work November 8) on client directory and FTSE 350+ version 2 started in 1999/2000 was at a standstill by March 2001 due to budget cuts.12 November 2001 Uptake – stats (UK Knowledge Management Group, Record hits to UK intranet: 8282 on Monday 12 2001, December 21) November.22 November 2001 Content – internal (UK Knowledge Management Group, Middle market site: launch to occur soon. 2001, November 22)23 November 2001 Functionality – technical (UK Knowledge Management Group, Verity: launch of tools to improve search capability on 2001, November 22) UK intranet.December 2001 Policy – e-discussions (UK Knowledge Management Group, Protocols and best practice for e-discussions 2001, December-a) published.December 2001 History – national intranets (UK Knowledge Management Group, National intranets established for Canada and Hong 2001, December-b) Kong. 14December 2001 Uptake – stats (UK Knowledge Management Group, 14% up on December 2000. 2002, January)
  15. 15. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingDate Data Source8 November 2001 Functionality – technical (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, Slow loading of UK intranet pages: load time of 12 November 8) seconds unacceptable.8 November 2001 Date of “event” Functionality – technical Discussion forums: Internal Communications (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, November 8) Sample extract of reviewing documentation and issues of discussion8 November 2001 forums. Functionality – technical (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, coded notes from Nimda virus: disruption caused by Nimda virus November 8)8 November 2001 discussed. Content – external Code category Factiva: Factiva available from 30 November 2001. (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, November 8) company8 November 2001 Content – external Investext: desktop access to Investext launched 9 November 2001. (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, November 8) documentation8 November 2001 Policy – games (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, “It was agreed that protocols should not permit November 8) games on websites”8 November 2001 History – investment (Intranet editorial panel, 2001, Budget cut impact on projects – examples: ICT work November 8) on client directory and FTSE 350+ version 2 started in 1999/2000 was at a standstill by March 2001 due Data coded to budget cuts.12 November 2001 Uptake – stats (UK Knowledge Management Group, Record hits to UK intranet: 8282 on Monday 12 2001, December 21) November.22 November 2001 Content – internal (UK Knowledge Management Group, Middle market site: launch to occur soon. 2001, November 22)23 November 2001 Functionality – technical (UK Knowledge Management Group, Verity: launch of tools to improve search capability on UK intranet. 2001, November 22) Source of dataDecember 2001 Policy – e-discussions (UK Knowledge Management Group, Protocols and best practice for e-discussions 2001, December-a) published.December 2001 History – national intranets (UK Knowledge Management Group, National intranets established for Canada and Hong 2001, December-b) Kong. 15December 2001 Uptake – stats (UK Knowledge Management Group, 14% up on December 2000. 2002, January)
  16. 16. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingH: Who controls 422 the Intranet content, is it 423 controlled by you in XX … rather than 424 from the centre, from the KM group …? 425#-CONTROL $-RELS KMG Sample of interviewP: Well, in terms of what tools and what facilities are made available to us, 427 428 -#-$ | | transcript coded up with the thats obviously controlled by the 429 | | central group. But in terms of the XX content and the XX presence, thats 430 431 |-$ | use of The Ethnograph entirely controlled by me … simply 432 | because it wouldnt be relevant to go 433 | through a central group. 434 -#H: Yeh, OK. Youve told me about 436#-INT BUY-IN ownership. How … it sounds as if 437 -# youve got really good buy-in from 438 | your own set of people … 439 | |P: Absolutely. 441 -##-INT BUY-INH: What about the Intranet as a whole in 443 -# the UK? What are your perceptions of 444 | buy-in there? 445 | |$-KM SPONSP: I think it varies. I mean, Im very 447 -#-$ fortunate in that I report into the 448 | 16 KM partner, whos also one of the 449 | senior partners … 450 -$H: Which, who …? 452
  17. 17. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingH: Who controls 422 the Intranet content, is it 423 controlled by you in XX … rather than 424 from the centre, from the KM group …? 425#-CONTROL $-RELS KMG Sample of interview SpeakerP: Well, in terms of what tools and what 427 -#-$ transcript coded up with the facilities are made available to us, 428 | | thats obviously controlled by the 429 | | central group. But in terms of the XX content and the XX presence, thats 430 431 |-$ | use of The Ethnograph entirely controlled by me … simply 432 | because it wouldnt be relevant to go 433 | through a central group. 434 -#H: Yeh, OK. Youve told me about 436#-INT BUY-IN Code ownership. How … it sounds as if 437 -# youve got really good buy-in from 438 | your own set of people … 439 | Line numbers |P: Absolutely. 441 -##-INT BUY-INH: What about the Intranet as a whole in 443 -# the UK? What are your perceptions of 444 | buy-in there? 445 | |$-KM SPONSP: I think it varies. I mean, Im very 447 -#-$ fortunate in that I report into the KM partner, whos also one of the 448 449 | | Data coded 17 senior partners … 450 -$H: Which, who …? 452
  18. 18. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collected Data analysed into findings Web model (Kling & Scacchi, 1982) Four conceptual elements 1. Lines of work and going concerns 2. Production lattice 3. Infrastructure 4. Macrostructure 18
  19. 19. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingLines of workGoing concerns- Overview of KM staff roles- KM and intranet responsibilities- IM as KM- Intranet as KM- Multi-channel knowledge sharing- Systems subversion- Status 19
  20. 20. The intranet as actor:the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing Production lattice, infrastructure & macrostructure - Overview of KM at firm - KM and intranet staffing plans - Intranet implementation plans - Knowledge sharing plans - Staff roles in practice - Actual intranet development - Actual knowledge sharing practice 20
  21. 21. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingLines of work Production lattice, infrastructure &Going concerns macrostructure- Overview of KM staff - Overview of KM at firm roles- KM and intranet - KM and intranet staffing plans responsibilities - Intranet implementation plans - Knowledge sharing plans- IM as KM- Intranet as KM - Staff roles in practice- Multi-channel - Actual intranet development knowledge sharing - Actual knowledge sharing practice- Systems subversion- Status 21 Interview data Documentation data
  22. 22. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collected Data analysed into findings Findings reframed Actor-network theory Three episodes 1. 1995/1996 2. 1998 22 3. 2001
  23. 23. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing 1995/1996Policy documentation Partner KM as a concept IM specialist Prototype intranetTechnology enthusiast 23
  24. 24. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing Policy documentation 1998 PartnerKM staff (centre) IM/KM specialist KM as a concept Web specialist Intranet Technology enthusiast KM staff (business) 24 Non-KM staff (business)
  25. 25. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing Policy documentation 2001 PartnerKM staff (centre) IM/KM specialist KM as a concept Web specialist Intranet KM staff (business) 25 Non-KM staff (business)
  26. 26. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingData collected Data analysed into findings Findings reframed Research output 7 roles 26
  27. 27. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet1. Furnish individuals with special projects2. Demonstrate status3. Connect people for the purposes of knowledge sharing4. Focus corporate attention on knowledge sharing5. Inhibit knowledge sharing6. Provide career direction7. Measure engagement with KM initiatives 27
  28. 28. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet - some intended by firm1. Furnish individuals with special projects2. Demonstrate status3. Connect people for the purposes of knowledge sharing4. Focus corporate attention on knowledge sharing5. Inhibit knowledge sharing6. Provide career direction7. Measure engagement with KM initiatives 28
  29. 29. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet - some tie to previous research1. Furnish individuals with special projects2. Demonstrate status3. Connect people for the purposes of knowledge sharing4. Focus corporate attention on knowledge sharing5. Inhibit knowledge sharing6. Provide career direction7. Measure engagement with KM initiatives 29
  30. 30. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet - some novel1. Furnish individuals with special projects2. Demonstrate status3. Connect people for the purposes of knowledge sharing4. Focus corporate attention on knowledge sharing5. Inhibit knowledge sharing6. Provide career direction7. Measure engagement with KM initiatives 30
  31. 31. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharing7 roles of the intranet Power1. Furnish individuals with special projects2. Demonstrate status PR - firm as innovator3. Connect people for the purposes of knowledge sharing4. Focus corporate attention on knowledge sharing5. Inhibit knowledge sharing6. Provide career direction Individual’s progress7. Measure engagement with KM initiatives Generate support 31 for further work
  32. 32. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingAccounting for multiple rolesShared perceptions of appropriate technology use within specific environments differ.For example - intranet deployed to demonstrate status of organisation, role determined internally for benefit of external constituency. 32
  33. 33. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingAccounting for failure of system to deliver as anticipatedActor power of those charged with the implementation – assigned by others – assigned to themselves 33
  34. 34. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingAccounting for emergence of these findingsConsideration of wider environment in which system was situated - focus not on system per seAcademic sociotechnical study – not consultancy project looking for “solutions” – disregarded managerial “taboos”, e.g. nagging for content, “culture” as umbrella excuse 34
  35. 35. The intranet as actor: the role of the intranet in knowledge sharingReferencesHuysman, M. & De Wit, D. (2002). Knowledge sharing in practice. London: Kluwer.Kling, R. & Scacchi, W. (1982). The web of computing: computer technology as social organization. Advances in Computers, 21, 1-90.Orlikowski, W. J. (1996). Learning from notes: organizational issues in groupware implementation. In R. Kling (Ed.), Computerization and controversy: value conflicts and social choices (2nd ed.).San Diego, CA: Academic Press. 35
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