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The use of social software for Knowledge Management in globally distributed settings Jan Pawlowski & Henri Pirkkalainen Global Information Systems group.

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Presentation on theme: "The use of social software for Knowledge Management in globally distributed settings Jan Pawlowski & Henri Pirkkalainen Global Information Systems group."— Presentation transcript:

1 The use of social software for Knowledge Management in globally distributed settings Jan Pawlowski & Henri Pirkkalainen Global Information Systems group

2 Global Information Systems Mission Statement Creating and validating new solutions for Information Systems in a global context - this includes the support of individuals and organizations to improve competitiveness, performance, and mutual understanding Topics Designing work and learning processes in globally distributed organizations Design & development methods for global information systems Culture analysis and awareness Support tools for knowledge intensive processes in global organizations ICT4D: ICT for development E-Learning and knowledge management in global organizations

3 Global Information Systems, University of Jyväskylä The Team Kati Clements Denis Kozlov Jan M. Pawlowski Philipp Holtkamp Henri Pirkkalainen

4 Twitter feedback channel #GSKM12 You can provide feedback and ask questions regarding our part and the research topics through Twitter

5 Knowledge Management in Global Settings Social Software – Vocabulary in IS field? Starting point for global inspection - Barriers Focus in KM – what has been studied and how? Towards unexplored research territories Social Software for KM: Contents

6 A first question What is common knowledge?

7 Sauna: German instructions

8 Sauna: American instructions

9 Sauna: Finnish instructions

10 Related Concepts (modified, North, 1998) Symbol Data Information Knowledge Skill Competence Competitiven ess +syntax +meaning +applying to new settings +use +context + uniqueness

11 Definition: Knowledge Management Knowledge management is defined as the management function responsible for the regular selection, implementation and evaluation of goal-oriented knowledge strategies that aim at improving an organizations way of handling knowledge internal and external to the organization in order to improve organizational performance. The implementation of knowledge strategies comprises all person-oriented, organizational and technological instruments suitable to dynamically optimize the organization-wide level of competencies, education and ability to learn of the members of the organization as well as to develop collective intelligence. (Maier 2002) Planned and ongoing management of activities and processes for leveraging knowledge to enhance competitiveness through better use and creation of individual and collective knowledge resources. (CEN 2004)

12 A first question… Why is Knowledge a Global Success Factor?

13 Just a simple product?

14 Business Process Management in a Networked Business Processing B Sales IT Services Management R&D Marketing Material Flow Knowledge/ Information / Data Flow Marketing Sales Processing A R&D IT Services Production

15 Some random questions… Decision questions –Where to produce? –How to build partnerships (joint ventures, contractors, …) –Which systems to exchange knowledge? Operational questions –How to process wood? –When will the next shipment arrive? –How to market the product in Japan? –How to explain the concept and advantages of Finnish saunas? –How to find the main problems of customers? –Which are import and safety regulations?

16 This means… Knowledge is a key to global success Global KM managers need to understand the value chain and knowledge requirements Global KM managers need to understand knowledge processes and culture Global KM managers are the main hubs for smooth operations in production and service enterprises Which kind of IS support is promising or proven successful?

17 Summary Knowledge as a critical success factor Knowledge management to support businesses Global aspects –Understanding the context –Process design –Systems and tool support –Cultural aspects Social Software as a promising tool to combine human- and technology-orientation –Which tools for which context? –How to overcome cultural differences? –How to embed tools?

18 Social Software?

19 Social Software Social Software enables an interactive way of collaboration, managing content and connecting to online networks with other people. It supports the desire of users to be pulled into groups in order to achieve their personal goals (Wever, Mechant, Veevaete & Hauttekeete 2007)

20 Social Software 4 Cs of Social Software Cook, N. Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work, UK:Gover, 2008.

21 Intertwined terminologies!

22 Social Media (Zheng et al. 2010)

23 Groupware Message systems Multiuser editors Group decision support systems (GDSSs) Computer conferencing systems Shared information spaces Workflow management/coordination systems …Much older approach in the IS research Ellis, Gibbs & Rein 1991) Ellis C.A., Gibbs S.J. & Rein C.L Groupware: Some issues and experiences. Communications of the ACM 34 (1), 39 – 58.

24 Collaboration tools Onyechi & Abeisinghe 2009 Refs to Social Media, Social Software, Groupware, Web 2.0…

25 Web 2.0 Often explained as the combination of methods and techniques on which Social Media is based on Still used in IT literacy

26 What do you focus on when addressing Social Software?

27 Research Trends I Constructive / Design-oriented research –Tools to improve knowledge exchange and distribution Do we really understand how global KM works: Qualitative Research –Understanding which influence factors and relations emerge in global settings –For example: Barriers to KM (why and how) Relating and quantifying: Quantitative Research –Understanding behavior in KM settings –E.g. ISSM, TAM, KM Success Model What type of relations, how strong, cause-effect etc. Applied for example in Social networking studies, also Web 2.0 focus

28 Barriers? Discussed from the viewpoint of an individual or group of people Can relate to social interaction and as an example to factors that hinder or challenge knowledge exchange Might relate to challenges and risks when adopting or using a specific technology Challenges set by diverse workers, hierarchies and cultural influences within an organization In many cases tied to a specific context Can be presented as a wider concept cultural distance …or as a question that is formed from the problem, How to reward contribution?…

29 Barriers Dependent on business process and project + Location, time, culture and language + Organizational and hierarchical

30 Success factors - barriers Critical Success Factors (CSF) The relation between a barrier and success factor not always clear …not always counter balanced in a way that overcoming a barrier means a success …not all success factors can be derived from barriers Barriers are a starting point to understand success factors within a specific context Geographical dispersion of individuals CSF set meeting schedules and rules of engagement conduct periodic face-to-face meetings

31 Success Factors Holistic, integrated and standardized approach –KM integrated within culture, coordination, and leadership –Consider relationships and interdependencies –Avoid isolated solutions, e. g., different, incompatible communication systems, no standards, different knowledge processes, –Knowledge processes and ICT platforms for KM should be standardized throughout the organization and integrated with the existing business processes. Knowledge-oriented culture –Supportive organizational culture –Open and communicative atmosphere –Supporting a knowledge-oriented culture through e. g., communication of success stories and best practices, through the acceptance of errors a s well as promoting individual responsibility Management support –Top management to strategic knowledge goals, allocate sufficient budgets to the KM initiative –Providing good example for the change of behavior –A knowledge champion can act as a coordinator for management support as well as key speaker and motivator for the initiative. Instruments Context. Organization / Individuals

32 Relation of concepts Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2012

33 Barriers Social Software (Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2012) … 119 barriers from the literature

34 Barriers Very much discussed at the moment Same barriers discussed under different terminology (Social Software, Social Media etc.) Related to knowledge sharing, group collaboration etc. Higher Education, Business and IT, B2B… At the moment trying to recognize relevant barriers. No clear context-aware understanding of the biggest problems Social Software

35 Financial (resources, time) Social Software Management/Coordination/support Technology fit Organizational culture Social Relational, knowledge sharing, skills, cognitive, background, preferences Technical Availability, Interoperability, Functionality, Usability, conceptual, privacy/security, misuse Quality Legal (IPR, copyright) Barriers

36 KM Barriers (Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2012)

37 KM barriers The bottleneck usually knowledge sharing Common ways of categorization (if categorized at all) Individual, organizational, technological (Riege 2005) Individual, social (Disterer 2001) (Individual: Loss of Power, Revelation, Uncertainty, Motivation Social: Language, Conflict avoidance, bureucracy and Hierarchy, Incoherent paradigms) Individual, social (Bures 2003)

38 Knowledge sharing barriers BarrierDescription Lack of interpersonal trust Level of trust in a company, between its sub-units, and its employees seems to have a direct influence on the communication flow and thus the amount of knowledge sharing (Riege, 2005) Lack of opportunities for sharing (resources, time, networks, infrastructures) Appropriate infrastructure and resources to facilitate sharing practices within and between functional areas is the basis of a successful KM (Schlegelmilch and Chini, 2003) How to reward contribution and encourage information sharing Managers many have to force people to transform their organisation into knowledge-embracing cultures. No matter which reward and recognition system is chosen (Riege, 2005) Lack of motivation to share Sharing only if its important to their work, if they feel encouraged to share and learn, or if they wish to support a certain colleague (Wheatley, 2000) Fear of harming his or her image if sharing Fear that sharing may reduce or jeopardise peoples jobs security or even employees corporate position Knowledge is power - Loss of Power through Sharing By providing knowledge to the colleague, the exclusivity of influence is reduced (Bures, 2003) Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2012

39 Global barriers …long traditions!

40 Global IS barriers BarrierDescription Cultural and language distance Do the collaborators share the same language, skills as well as cultural norms, corporate culture, interpretations etc. Most occurred barrier in Noll et al, (2010) analysis on collaboration barriers in GSD. Geographical distance Distributed collaboration (within a country or cross-border). Third most occurred barrier in Noll et al, (2010) analysis on collaboration barriers in GSD. Temporal distance Distributed collaboration (Time-zone differences). Second most occurred barrier in Noll et al, (2010) analysis on collaboration barriers in GSD. Lack of trust Geographic, temporal, and cultural distance have a significant impact on trust among globally distributed team members (Noll et al, 2010) Infrastructure In distributed collaboration teams and employees must rely on technology to support the communication (Noll et al, 2010) Pirkkalainen & Pawlowski 2012

41 Methodology to capture barriers Different approaches depending on the discipline and maturity of the field KM Observation, ethnographic approaches Relying on the rigor of the researcher The main authors often experts with long history in the field Experiences Documented best practices, policies Also combined approaches applying interviews and surveys within specific organizations Global factors Long traditions, identification turned to concrete context specific understanding Social Software Depending what is analyzed (adoption, influencing factors for sharing, usability etc.) Expert interviews, surveys, lab testing etc. Research trend II - Merging research orientations and disciplines

42 Social Software in Knowledge Management Individuals, process/culture, technology In many cases generalizing the purpose of Social Software/media unnecessarily E.g. social media is essentially a social networking site, with subscribing Support of Social Software for different levels of KM: Knowledge evolution, knowledge use/reuse, knowledge sharing/transfer Not to replace but to support? Are we discussing a specific service or about the web in general?

43 its the interaction with customers that social media provides Social Software in Knowledge Management

44 Social networking as awareness support for Knowledge Management (Groth 2002) Social Software in Knowledge Management

45 Social Software in KM Web as a platform basis for social media The research is linked to Enterprise 2.0 Web 2.0

46 Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration Awareness Documentation Customer engagement Interaction with stakeholders … Social Software in KM

47 Research trends III Analyzing the cultural, organizational, and individual context Identifying barriers and potential success factors Choosing and creating solutions (=interventions / methods) –Aligned with strategies and processes –Addressing barriers –Involving all stakeholders –Not overloading people –Choosing and creating solutions (=interventions / methods) Utilizing barrier-knowledge in KM processes

48 Social Software in KM activities and tasks Not all tools are meant to support all knowledge steps/tasks Identifying Collection, modification, collaboration Annotation Sharing, awareness Knowledge Management Tasks creation, building, anticipation or generation acquisition, appropriation or adoption identification, capture, articulation or extraction collection, gathering or accumulation (legally) securing conversion organization, linking and embedding formalization storage refinement or development distribution, diffusion, transfer or sharing presentation or formatting application, deploying or exploiting review, revision or evolution of knowledge Source: (Maier, 2004)

49 Supporting processes Social Software Maier & Remus (2003) Implementing process-oriented knowledge management strategies

50 Process: Push Knowledge IDCategoryProcessDescription KM processPush KnowledgePushing knowledge to relevant audiences (within the organization) Sub-processes / aspects Training of Social networking use Benefit workshop Good practice reporting Wiki entry Notification Objective To activate knowledge flow by sharing relevant information Identifying necessary channels to ensure awareness Constraints Informal / formal networks and communities Barrier: Lack of conceptual understanding Barrier: Technology fitness to task Barrier: Unwillingness to share Method Awareness building activities / training Relation of content and skill management GP reporting Systems Social networking service (internal) Wiki (closed) Actors Employee / staff member / knowledge carrier, IT support, manager

51 From barriers to decisions Utilizing barrier-knowledge for different purposes KM projects KM activities in general Choosing/evaluating technologies for KM Designing and developing technologies Who takes actions on these? Roles and responsibilities?

52 KM activities & instruments Barrier-knowledge Maier & Remus (2003) Implementing process-oriented knowledge management strategies

53 Knowledge management starter Potential case for recognizing and analyzing barriers Initiation of KM in an organization, potentiality, awareness, barriers and knowledge gaps Barrier-knowledge

54 Support in selection of technologies Recognizing the barriers crucial for decision process –Differences in usage of Social Software (networking, collaborative work etc.) Criteria to evaluate against must be clear (needs) –How do you identify –Preferences, interoperability, security etc. Reacting vs. proacting –Changing traditions and tools after the damage is done? –Clear conceptual understanding before technologies are introduced to the organization?

55 Evaluating technologies Different tools, different criteria –Required skills, Usability, maintenance, cost, privacy, extensibility, functionality etc. Context-dependent Approaches vary from formal to informal Applied by an expert, consultant Applied by IT department, manager, assigned person/ group

56 Creating technologies What are the needs? Could existing tools be utilized? Any software packages (open source) available? How to integrate to existing systems… How to ensure that users are part of the design process? Key users, preferences, cultural distance Wide variety of aspects /influences to be taken in to account. Recognizing barriers crucial for the analysis

57 Focus points for research Ranging from smaller to large research activities Distributed teams (local to global, small vs massive) –What type of challenges they face in their work –How could Social Software support / how should it be integrated to the working activities / how to ensure adoption / how could it bridge the gap to other communities or collaborators/competitors For example analyzing where do the collaborators or relevant stakeholders interact (European projects one perfect example). –Setting clear Social Software policy that differentiates between internal/external work, customer relations etc.

58 Thank You

59 Contact Information Prof. Dr. Jan M. Pawlowski Skype: jan_m_pawlowski Office: Room Telephone Henri Pirkkalainen Office: Room Telephone


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