Dynamic Knowledge Integration in Socio-Technical Networks: An Interpretive Study of Intranet Use for Knowledge Integration
Craig M. Parker
A major challenge facing firms competing in electronic business markets is the dynamic integration of knowledge within and beyond the firm, enabled by internet-based infrastructure and emergent fluid socio-technical networks. This paper explores how social actors dynamically employ intranets to integrate formal and informal knowledge within evolving socio-technical networks that emerge, permeate and extend beyond the organisational boundary. The paper presents two case studies that illustrate how static intranets can be useful for dynamically integrating knowledge when they are interwoven with other knowledge channels such as e-mail through which flows the informal knowledge needed to make sense of and situate formal organisational knowledge. The findings suggest that businesses should carefully examine how employees integrate intranets with other channels in their work, and the shaping of knowledge outcomes that flows from such use. There are practical implications for the proper skilling of the people who share and integrate knowledge in this way. The paper also provides a framework for dynamic knowledge integration in socio-technical networks, which can help underpin future research in this area.
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