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Exploiting Information: Seeking Long-term Preservation of organisational knowledge
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Computer and System science. (Teknik Informations Center)
Umeå University.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Long-term preservation of organisational knowledge gives the business opportunities to reuse stored knowledge. This preservation of knowledge is present both in the organisation as such, found explicitly in the organisational stock, and also in the individual workers, implicit in their flow of action. Theoretically have the reuse of knowledge been named organisational memory and also been addressed in knowledge management. In a single case-study of a manufacturing company, the authors study the utilisation of product configuration information (PCI) and its role in meeting requirements on long-time preservation of product-related knowledge. This structured and standardised information is used throughout the organisation, serving as a base for both organisational and individual knowledge for the entire company. Since the information has been used in the same way for decades it is a part of the organisation´s culture and influences structures and procedures connected to the information base. The result of the study implies that usage of PCI grants the individual worker a high degree of task-related freedom as well as intra-organisational mobility. The downside for the individuals is the long time period it takes to get familiar with PCI due to its complexity. For the organisation as such, PCI provides a stable stock of knowledge which is available over extended periods of time, drastically reducing dependence upon individual workers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
organisational memory, knowledge management, long-term preservation of knowledge, product configuration information
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-19864OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-19864DiVA: diva2:648235
Conference
22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference; University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland;21-23 Aug 2013.
Available from: 2013-09-13 Created: 2013-09-13 Last updated: 2014-03-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Approaching the intangible benefits of a boundary object
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Approaching the intangible benefits of a boundary object
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today´s information society is constantly increasing the quantity of digital information that organisations have access to and depend on. Despite this dependency, few descriptions exist of the benefits which this digital information can provide the organisation with. Examples of what the organisation can use the information for include business intelligence or in a business process. The absence of such benefit descriptions results in missed opportunities in organisational management and a failure to cultivate the artefact. In terms of a practical operational work role, this means that the artefact just exists and that there are no decisions, communication and discussions connected to it. Earlier research about benefits in the Information Systems field is focused on describing the process of finding benefit factors from different IT investments and how these investments can be measured financially. The result of this was that it was only the measurable benefits that were taken into consideration. Later benefit management research has shown interest in the intangible benefit factors as well and added this as an activity in the evaluation process. Today´s view is that the benefit consists both of tangible and intangible benefit factors. This thesis emphasises benefit factors found by means of qualitative research in organisations producing Technical Information (TI). TI isinformation connected to goods and services and is a part of a product. The intangible benefit factors found which are connected to TI are semantic interoperability and knowledge. Semantic interoperability is beneficial both for the organisation and the individuals – in the first case exemplified by a uniform working process and in the second as efficiency in the internal communication. Knowledge also provides benefit both to the organisation and the individuals – the organisation can operate without depending on certain individuals and information gives the individuals mobility in their profession.The next part in the thesis discusses information management´simpact on benefit factors. In the case of an autocratic approach, it is the organisation that benefits most, whereas a decentralised management style provides the individual co-workers with a greater number of benefit factors. This proves that information management is an important and decisive ingredient, and that it affects benefit factors.One step in the direction of converting the intangible benefit factors into tangible ones is to visualise them. In this work the theoreticallens provided by a boundary object has been used. This lens adds a qualitative view on cross-boundary information and has efficiency approaches. These approaches are the syntactical, semantic andpragmatic. Via interpretations from the thesis´s two empirical cases, those approaches are "measured" by interpretations and visualised by the three leaves of a clover. This gives the opportunity to describewhat information efficiency, in this case connected to a positiveexpectation, can contribute to the organisation or the individuals. By this procedure, different cases or time aspects can be compared,thereby providing a basis for decision-making, communication and discussion. Future research in this area can be made in different directions – one is to investigate whether the intangible benefit factors can be turned into measurable ones. In this way, the internal organisation can be provided with better knowledge of the digital information's impact. Another research direction is to investigate how the passage of time affects the benefit factors that digital information gives the organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2014. 66 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 107
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-21576 (URN)978-91-87557-22-4 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2014-03-12Bibliographically approved

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