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The formation of coordinative knowledge practices in distributed work: towards an explanatory model
Tampere Research Center for Information and Media (TRIM), School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Department of Business Information Management and logistics, Tampere University of Technology, Finland.
School of Information Sciences, University of Tampere, Finland.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Knowledge Management, ISSN 1367-3270, Vol. 16, no 4, 650-665 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The paper proposes a model aiming at the explanation of the formation of coordinative knowledge practices in distributed work. Findings from a pilot study aiming at the preliminary testing of the model are presented and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach - The explanatory model was developed by combining concepts and findings developed in studies of social capital, knowledge sharing and computer supported cooperative work. The empirical data were gathered in 2007-2008 in a multi-unit Finnish chemical company production site. The methods used were structured observation of work processes, semi-structured interviews and a web-based questionnaire.

Findings - The model suggested that coordinative knowledge practices are shaped by four major factors: work coupling, social capital, spatio-temporality and affordances of collaboration technologies. The empirical study showed that these concepts can be successfully applied in empirical research to better understand and support the development of coordinative knowledge practices. Practical implications - The findings can be utilized in the analysis and assessment of coordinative knowledge practices between distributed work groups in multi-unit organizations. The findings can also be used in the development of solutions for knowledge sharing and communication in distributed work organizations and communities.

Originality/value - The model developed provides a novel perspective for the study of knowledge practices in the context of distributed group work. The model proposes that varying degrees in work coupling intensity, social capital, spatio-temporality and affordances of collaborative technologies explain the emergence of coordinative knowledge practices. The study shows how coordinative knowledge practices can be studied empirically The empirical study resulted in a typology of coordinative knowledge practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 16, no 4, 650-665 p.
Keyword [en]
Coordination, Distributed work, Collaborative work, Work coupling, Social capital, Knowledge sharing, Knowledge practices, Knowledge management, Group work
National Category
Social Sciences Media and Communications
Research subject
Library and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181955DOI: 10.1108/13673271211246202ISI: 000307687900011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181955DiVA: diva2:558220
Available from: 2012-10-02 Created: 2012-10-02 Last updated: 2013-04-25Bibliographically approved

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