We recently started a project with the discipline of Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney, which is generously financially supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the Group of 8 during the next two years (until the end of 2012). While the official project start will be the first January 2011, we just kicked off the project inoffically on 26/11 in Syndey. On the photo you can see our project partners from the university of Sydney, Paul Scifleet and Kai Riemer, together with the team member of our group, Alexander Richter.
Innovation in service economies depends increasingly on how well organisations are able to generate, manage and share knowledge in the face of geographic distribution, which tends to breed knowledge pockets and reinventing-the-wheel phenomena. A new type of technologies, social media platforms such as Wikis or Blogs emerging from the public Internet, promises to offer a user-centred approach to address this challenge with Enterprise Microblogging (EMB) being the latest use practice. EMB is a Twitter-like service to facilitate open short-message communication, with the aim to move knowledge exchanges from private email inboxes to a public, organisation-wide communication space.
With our project we aim
1) to investigate knowledge sharing, communication and information management practices in EMB (using genre, content and media analysis),
2) to identify challenges in the adoption and use of EMB and
3) to understand and support development of communication policy and management guidelines in social media and knowledge management.
The expected contributions of our project are:
1) A better understanding of potentials, ways of using and effects of EMB in distributed corporations in creating a new public communication space and in facilitating user-centred knowledge management;
2) Management guidelines for facilitating social media introduction in a corporate context, to support platform adoption and improve communication policy. In addition to these direct project outcomes and their industry and academic dissemination, the two institutions will benefit from the skills and knowledge sharing facilitated through the project exchange
For this project we have access to a large multi-national consultancy (CapGemini Global Consulting Services) with 90,000 employees and its Enterprise Microblogging (EMB) user population.
The study will support (genre) analysis of EMB communications through in-depth interviews with users and decision makers in Europe and Australia. Our research design is based on jointly collecting and analysing data so that the complementary expertise of the research team can be fully utilised.
Further we aim to compare and contrast our findings with the results of studies of other small and large companies.We will disseminate our findings through academic outlets and workshops with industry participants.
Our Partners from Sydney bring in both their method expertise (experience with qualitative, practice-based research designs and qualitative content and media analysis) and their expertise in collaborative technologies and information & knowledge management. A joint publication by K.Riemer & A.Richter from this project has just been honoured with the Outstanding Paper Award at the 23rd Bled eConference, the longest standing conference in eCommerce and Internet Business.