Organizational knowledge and the Intranet

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Authors: J.E. Scott

Publication Year: 1998


Journal: Decision Support Systems

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Categories: Information Management


The Intranet phenomenon has been driven by the push of technology standards and the pull of organizational need to 1. communicate across geographic, organizational and functional barriers, and 2. collaborate among sites and with suppliers and customers. The objective of this study is to generate a theoretical framework for the interaction between organizational knowledge and the Intranet. The contribution of this paper is 4-fold. First, we generate a theoretical framework using the paradigm model of grounded theory. We show interactions between the Intranet and three organizational knowledge strategies taking into account drivers, the context, and intervening conditions. Second, previous research on organizational knowledge creation theory is incorporated into the framework. Third, the framework forms the basis for future empirical research on the business value of the Intranet. Finally, the study raises implications for IS developers, IS departments, management and researchers.

Critical Reflection

This paper discusses the intranet phenomenon and its business value in the environmental, organizational and IT context, and attempts to develop a framework for facilitating organizational knowledge creation with the Intranet. Although, the intranet is defined as a computer network that is used in the internal webs of an organization for sharing information, the article gives a wider definition that includes customers and suppliers in the extended company applications. The author uses a paradigm model of grounded theory to present the interactions between the Intranet and organizational knowledge strategies taking into account drivers, the context, and intervening conditions. Furthermore the author mentions that management plays an important role in the organizational knowledge creation as it can foster an organizational culture that explores new technologies, train a skillful personnel with technical experience, encourage the collaborative environment within an organization and promote autonomy, variety, creative chaos, redundancy, intention and fluctuation. Finally the author points outs the difference between the traditional IS and the Intranet; unlike traditional IS, intranet is characterized by autonomy, redundancy, creative chaos and variety and also it facilitates the transfer and externalization of tacit knowledge to explicit. Communication systems such as email and the Intranet, with posted electronic documents, electronic discussion groups and transaction systems can be used in all the phases of the Adaptive Cycle as they facilitate the efficiency and effectiveness of a company.