miun.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Designing Intranets for Viability: Approaching Organizational Empowerment and Participation
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
Responsible organisation
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Intranets appeared in the mid-1990s and were perceived as the answer to the need for the integration of existing Information Systems into organisations. Despite the fact that there has been extensive research regarding implementation, development processes, policies standardisation vs. creativity and so forth, the potentiality of Intranets has not been fully exploited. Intranets offer many advantages in the form of working networks that support and enable empowered employees to participate in the development of the organisation, to enable the measurement of essential functions and to monitor undesired conditions and find suitable functions that support daily work. The research approach in this thesis has alternated between analysis empirical studies, and design. Current literature, research findings in the form of articles, etc., are analysed, an empirical study of five organisations is conducted and finally a design of possible functions is accomplished. In the analysis of the state-of-the-art, current research can be grouped into four topics partly overlapping each other; questions concerning informatics, organisation theory, knowledge management, and design. Urgent issues for further research are identified as mainly belonging to the topics informatics and organisation theory; management and strategy, empowerment, further development processes, use, and roles. Findings from a study of five Swedish organisations show a need for identifying the philosophy of technology in the organisations in order to make an organisation’s view of technology common throughout the organisation. Furthermore, functions supporting daily work are lacking to a high degree. Further lacks and demands are identified, as well as potential functions and new possibilities. In the next section, the Philosophy of Technology is related to an Intranet. The discussion is based on a model which consists of the concepts Conception, Use, Technology, and Policy. Making the Philosophy of Technology common in organisations is connected to the empowerment of employees and is a guarantor, along with the influence of the VSM on the design, for the impact on and participation in the processes of an organisation. The next part deals with possible advantages of combining the cybernetic model, the Viable System Model, by Stafford Beer, and an Intranet. It is found that the VSM can support the design of Intranets according to essential functions such as Early Warning Systems connected to production units and levels that are to be made aware of undesired conditions in the organisation. Furthermore, functions for amplifying and attenuating information – both between parts of the organisation and between the organisation and the environment – are to be designed. Further examples of functions supporting the organisation, in order to make it viable, are given. The main contribution of the thesis is the identification of core functions in an Intranet as establishing functions for supervision (Early Warning Systems), attenuating and amplifying information between the organisation and the environment and between subparts in the organisation. Furthermore, the interface is to be designed so the underlying technology is “visible:” Where are the different parts of the Intranet located physically? Who delivers information to the different parts? Who uses the functions? Who is responsible? The transparency of the interface makes the philosophy of technology visible throughout the organisation; the concepts are the same, the actual use is the same as the intended use, and policy is active and well known and finally, the possibilities and the limitations with/inherent to an Intranet are known among the users.

Finally, examples of further research are given – both as regards the implementation of Intranets based on the VSM design and as regards making the interface transparent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Univ. , 2006. , 74 p.
Series
Research reports in informatics, ISSN 1401-4572 ; RR 06.01
Keyword [en]
Intranet design, Viable System Model, empowerment, democracy, autonomy, recursion, viability, participation
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-5427Local ID: 4069ISBN: 91-7264-002-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-5427DiVA: diva2:30460
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2009-01-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Intranet Use: A Study of Five Swedish Organizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intranet Use: A Study of Five Swedish Organizations
2005 (English)In: Journal of Organizational Transformation and Social Change, ISSN 1477-9633, Vol. 2, no 2, 153-180 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a study carried out 2002, concerning the Intranet in five Swedish organizations. The purpose is to investigate in what way different aspects influence the use and understanding of an Intranet. An explorative approach is used, based on two interview guides. The first guide is aimed at managers and IS representatives and covers background aspects of the Intranets, as well as data about the businesses and their Intranets. The second guide is directed to all kinds of users and covers aspects of the use of Intranet and in what way users can influence the content and understanding of the Intranet. The persons interviewed represent end-users, managers and members of the IS staff. Results show that the Intranets in the study are poorly matured and that the main use mode is ‘publishing’. The underlying philosophy of the Intranets seems to be self-information rather than informing others. Furthermore, the use and understanding of Intranet differs between end-users, managers and IS –staff, according to trust and ideas of responsibilities. Finally, important aspects to be considered when investigating the use of Intranets in further research are identified. These aspects are strategies, social context, further development process, competence and the Intranets’ organizational affiliation as well as the culture of the organization.

Keyword
Intranet use, explorative approach, strategies, further development process, social context, organizational affiliation, organizational culture
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1151 (URN)10.1386/jots.2.2.153/1 (DOI)1987 (Local ID)1987 (Archive number)1987 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved
2. Intranet - Ongoing Research and Future Directions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intranet - Ongoing Research and Future Directions
2005 (English)In: Advances in Applied Systems Research: Vol. I: Cognitive Models/Intranet/ 3D Object Retrieval/Steganographic Applications/ E-Commerce, Ontario, Canada: IIAS , 2005, 9-18 p.Chapter in book (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we briefly present ongoing research related to Intranets in order to define shortcomings and needs for further research. An Intranet often mirrors the organization’s and the managers’ view of employees. An Intranet is more a tool to support the organization in common than to solve separate tasks. We outline the ‘map of the world of research of intranets’ where knowledge management, organization theory, design and informatics are the main cornerstones that overlap each other. There are different kinds of approaches depending on the Intranet researchers’ choice of problem domain. One approach is Intranet development in a broad sense as the problem domain. Other researchers have knowledge management as the problem domain and consider Intranet as one way to handle KM. Researchers, who have chosen Intranet as the secondary problem domain, might have their theoretical starting points in other disciplines/spheres of interest. Examples of these disciplines might be organization theory, social science and knowledge. Ongoing research on Intranet mainly focuses on different aspects of implementation, initiative, development processes, knowledge management and roles. There are lacks due to the number of empirical studies. The use of Intranets is poorly investigated and questions about aspects that influence the understanding and use of an Intranet are being raised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ontario, Canada: IIAS, 2005
Keyword
intranet, informatics, knowledge management, organization theory, design, intranet use
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-2640 (URN)1986 (Local ID)1-894613-35-X (ISBN)1986 (Archive number)1986 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30Bibliographically approved
3. Design rules for Intranets according to the Viable System Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design rules for Intranets according to the Viable System Model
2006 (English)In: Systemic Practice and Action Research, ISSN 1094-429X, E-ISSN 1573-9295, Vol. 19, no 6, 523-535 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Viable System Model, VSM, by Stafford Beer is a model used for diagnosing and designing organizational structure and communication to facilitate necessary and sufficient conditions for viability. The model has been used for diagnosing different kinds of organizations at different levels where its use highlights existing or missing communication patterns and information flows in different communication channels and relates findings to a viable system. In a previous article, VSM and Intranet have been discussed and examples of advantages of combining the two concepts when designing organizations, has been given. In this article, VSM is combined with Intranet and possible functions in an intranet that support information exchange between different systems are identified and described. The suggested functions identified in this article are finally related to Intranet use modes, and the concepts of Empowerment vs. control.

Keyword
Intranet, Viable System Model, design
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3136 (URN)10.1007/s11213-006-9041-5 (DOI)000242688800002 ()2-s2.0-33845492596 (Scopus ID)3049 (Local ID)3049 (Archive number)3049 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved
4. Viable Intranets for Viable Organizations: Incentives for shared and common Intranets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Viable Intranets for Viable Organizations: Incentives for shared and common Intranets
2007 (English)In: IRIS 30: Proceedings of the 30th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia August 11-14, 2007 Tampere Finland, Tampere, 2007Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract. The potentiality of the intranet concept, enabled by the empowerment of employees, is to a high degree missing in examples of successful implementation. Intranet implementation is not an end in itself. The purpose of this technology is to support an organisation. In order to make the organization viable, the intranet should be designed to support and facilitate interaction when sharing knowledge and communication throughout the organisation. This paper presents ideas to be considered when planning and designing an intranet in an organisation. These ideas are primarily based on the concept of empowerment and common making owing to the technology in use. First, making the view of the technology common can be carried out through the active use of Philosophy of Technology, here represented by the CUT-P model which shows the connections between conceptions, use, technology and policy. Second, ideas have been inspired by the Viable System Model. Corresponding functions in an intranet are presented in VSM terminology. Contributions can be divided into four paragraphs: Recommended functions based on VSM are suggested. Recommendations owing to completion of the policy with ideas how to work with the CUT-P model representing the Philosophy of Technology are presented. Furthermore, fundaments for 1) an implementation model according to functions and the corresponding changes in the organization, is recommended as well as 2) an interface model with the aim to develop the interface so the underlying technology is visible and the ideas of the VSM is �visible� in the interface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tampere: , 2007
Keyword
Intranet, viable system model, empowerment, Philosophy of Technology, participation
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-5142 (URN)5337 (Local ID)978-951-44-7048-6 (ISBN)5337 (Archive number)5337 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30Bibliographically approved
5. Demands on Intranets: Viable System Model as a Foundation for Intranet Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Demands on Intranets: Viable System Model as a Foundation for Intranet Design
2006 (English)In: AIP Conference Proceedings, Liége: AIP , 2006, Vol. 839, 381-387 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The number of Intranets increases in organizations but their potential to support viability is not fully exploited. The cybernetic model, the Viable System Model, has not been connected to the Intranet concept before. Characteristics of the VSM, such as highlighting the importance of production, monitoring of production units through Early Warning Systems, autonomy and empowerment, are used as patterns and a base for de-signing essential parts and/or functions of an Intranet. The result is a brief description of functions vital to the operational parts of organizations. Examples are Early Warning Systems, control systems, "gate-keepers," amplifying and damping information to and from the organization and "agents" supporting search abilities on an Intranet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Liége: AIP, 2006
Series
AIP Conference Proceedings, ISSN 0094-243X ; 839
Keyword
Intranet, anticipation, EWS, autonomy, empowerment
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-5541 (URN)10.1063/1.2216648 (DOI)000238647800029 ()2-s2.0-33845490558 (Scopus ID)3228 (Local ID)0-7354-0331-7 (ISBN)3228 (Archive number)3228 (OAI)
Conference
COMPUTING ANTICIPATORY SYSTEMS - CASYS'05: Seventh International Conference on Computing Anticipatory Systems; Liege; Belgium; 8 August 2005 through 13 August 2005
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved
6. Philosophy of Technology in Organisations - A foundation for Intranets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Philosophy of Technology in Organisations - A foundation for Intranets
2004 (English)In: Promote IT 2004: proceedings of the fourth Conference for the Promotion of Research in IT at New Universities and University Colleges in Sweden 5-7 May, 2004, Karlstad University, Sweden, Karlstad: Univ. , 2004, 446-457 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Philosophy of technology can serve as an aid in handling our mistrust and support for a new technological culture and increase our reflection upon technology. Development of technology must be influenced and controlled so it become understandable and human. We should as individuals at all levels develop a viable view of technology such as information systems in general and intranets in particular. In order to guarantee creation of human, flexible and adaptive intranets of high quality in the future, the philosophy of technology in organisations should be identified, made visible and shared. The intranet should be a common concern for all persons in an organisation due to shaping, further development and use. This paper covers different views of philosophy of technology with the CUT-P model as a starting point. This model represents the dynamic dependencies between Conception, Use, Technology and Policy. These parts are further refined and divided into sub parts where for example Use has been divided into actual use, desirable use, misuse, underuse and so on. The model is discussed related to intranet in common and a study of intranets in Swedish organizations carried out during 2002, in particular. The model can further developed and tested empirically, work as a tool in order to analyse and develop a sustainable view of technology in organisations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Univ., 2004
Keyword
intranet, intranet use, philosophy of technology
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1245 (URN)853 (Local ID)91-85019-94-1 (ISBN)853 (Archive number)853 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-12-12 Created: 2008-12-12 Last updated: 2008-12-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-714

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nyström, Christina Amcoff
By organisation
Department of Information Technology and Media
Computer and Information Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 169 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf