The attempt to support and encourage knowledge sharing through technology in a loosely coupled network is not an easy attempt, but requires careful consideration. This integrated master thesis in Communication and Computer Science is a theoretical and empirical examination of this challenge. As a case-study we use the network, Frikirkenet, which is a newly started umbrella-organization of churches from several denominations in Denmark. We find a number of factors and conditions that influence the implementation process. We discovered that because of the loose coupling, the units are characterized by independence, a low level of integration, co-ordination, and weak authority structure and are resistant to change. Regarding the culture of Frikirkenet we find that on the one hand it is characterized by strong ties because of the common believes, but on the other the diverging confessional identities, introduce barriers to knowledge sharing. We also find that the leaders in Frikirkenet share knowledge to a low extent and with few of their peers; also the communication is primarily oral. For each factor we seek to provide strategies to overcome the challenges in the implementation process. This process is initiated by the authors who work as action researchers. Using knowledge management strategy, we applied a specific implementation of a knowledge sharing system in Frikirkenet, called Frikirkeintranet. After two test trials with users in the network, it became evident that, even though some users shared knowledge through the system, it was not a general trend. This led to a critical discussion of the current strategy and elaboration on alternatives. Two of the key findings of the thesis are: 1) For the specific system, Frikirkeintranet, and the knowledge management strategy to succeed, it is necessary to manage the knowledge sharing process even more. We argue that it is necessary to motivate users through networking during the whole process and to strengthen the feeling of togetherness among users, both physically and through the IT-system. We also find that it is important to ensure enough content and users on the system and to adopt a IT-system that supports knowledge sharing in all its dimensions. Further it is important to use intermediaries to train users how to create, sanitize and add information to the system. It is also imperative to set up guidelines and ensure quality of the content. Because the sharing of the users experience is costly and difficult on the system, it is recommended that the sharing for a start is focused on the more fact oriented information. This strategy requires intense use of leaders influence, which is difficult in a loosely coupled system. There are also large inputs in cost and time. Attempting to change the culture by a shift in the communication channels which are familiar to the network, make this solution problematic and leads us to the second proposal. 2) The other strategy proposed is to implement a range of synchronous and asynchronous technologies, such as chat, voice phone, blogs and file sharing, to better support the existing channels of communication in the network. This initiative is user driven, which consequently makes it mostly non-managed, and enables the users to choose the technologies they feel comfortable with and natural about, and the technologies they find useful to support their knowledge sharing.
|Uddannelser||Datalogi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidatKommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||1 jan. 2006|
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