Global Text Project: A Panel Discussion

I will be serving on a panel with the co-project leaders of the Global Text Project, Rick Watson (University of Georgia) and Don McCubbrey (University of Denver) at the 2nd Annual SIG GlobDev Workshop. The goal of the panel is twofold – 1) to continue to raise awareness about the project and recruit professors to participate in the effort, and 2) to update the IS community on the work to-date, the opportunities on the horizon, and the challenges we face. My prepared remarks focus on 1) highlighting the work being done by graduate students in the Masters of Science of Information Management program at the Information School, University of Washington, and 2) outlining ideas on how we might build learning communities around each textbook. I am looking forward to a stimulating discussion.

Patterns and Structures of Intra-Organizational Learning Networks: Forthcoming in Journal of Information Technology

jitI have co-authored a paper with Miha Škerlavaj (University of Ljubljana) and Vlado Dimovski (University of Ljubljana) that examines network-based learning. The paper will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Information Technology. I hold a five-year honorary visiting professor appointment at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana.

This paper employs the network perspective to study patterns and structures of intra-organizational learning networks. The theoretical background draws from cognitive theories, theories of homophily and proximity, theories of social exchange, the theory of generalized exchange, small-worlds theory, and social process theory. The levels of analysis applied are actor, dyadic, triadic, and global. Confirmatory social network analysis (exponential random graph modeling) was employed for data analysis. Findings suggest: (1) central actors in the learning network are experienced and hold senior positions in the organizational hierarchy, (2) evidence of homophily (in terms of gender, tenure, and hierarchical level relations) and proximity (in terms of geographical and departmental distances) in learning relationships, (3) learning relationships are non-reciprocal, and (4) transitivity and high local clustering with sparse inter-cluster ties are significant for intra-organizational learning networks.

Customer Managed Knowledge Factories

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Jongmin Moon and I have authored an article on Customer Managed Knowledge Factories. The paper will appear in Business Information Review.

Abstract
Most organizations spend millions, if not billions, on knowledge management. There is no doubting the fact that organizations must manage knowledge if they are to be successful, or even survive, in the marketplace. While this remains an accepted fact, one thing has changed over the last few years – the role of the organization in how knowledge is managed. This transformation is especially visible when it comes to managing knowledge from external sources. The most important source are the customers (users), both current and future, of an organization’s products and services. Organizations need to relinquish control over customer knowledge management. Customers will, and in many cases, already are taking on a more active role in managing knowledge for the benefit of the organization. The organization should not try to duplicate this nor try to force the customers into a top-down mode of knowledge management. Instead, the ideal organization will find ways to leverage the grassroots, and customer driven, knowledge factories that emerge around them. In this paper, we develop the concept of customer managed knowledge factories and share examples on how the concept is implemented in leading organizations.

Paper: Improving Data Visualization for High-Density Information Transfer in Social Network Analysis Tools

Chris Rivinus (Parsons Brinckerhoff), Peter Baloh (University of Ljubljana) and I have authored a paper for the itAIS VI Conference -  Toward Fusion in the Interconnected World: Exploring the Connection between Organizations and Technology (October 2-3, 2009). The paper titled, “Improving Data Visualization for High-Density Information Transfer in Social Network Analysis Tools”,  examines highlights from the last 30 years of dialogue about visualization as a basis for decision making in urban design, and suggests three areas in which SNA software designers should focus efforts to evolve more effective tools for organizational and IS design: realism, detail and changes over time.

One of the core issues in data and knowledge transfer is the appropriateness of transfer mechanisms. Often, understanding of problems and decision making by knowledge workers, can be improved by appropriate information and knowledge visualization. As businesses turn towards collaboration and innovation for competitive advantage, Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools have provided means of understanding existing employee network dynamics including the pathway of information shared between individual members. However, these tools have not been widely adopted for the purposes of organizational and information systems (IS) design. Possible explanations as to why SNA has not been more widely adopted as a design tool can be found in literature focusing on visualization as a modeling and decision making tool for urban design. This paper examines highlights from the last 30 years of dialogue about visualization as a basis for decision making in urban design, and suggests three areas in which SNA software designers should focus efforts to evolve more effective tools for organizational and IS design: realism, detail and changes over time. This discourse not only furthers applicability of SNA as a tool on its own by proposing how to design improved technological solutions, but it also suggests areas of exploration for IS product development generally

Paper on Information and Knowledge Management within Public Sector Networks accepted at the International Journal of Public Administration

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I have a new paper accepted for publication. The paper, “Information and Knowledge Management in Public Sector Networks: The Case of the US Intelligence Community” will appear in the International Journal of Public Administration.

This paper contributes to the public management literature by exploring the critical challenges that underpin the construction of robust information and knowledge management strategies in networked settings. The ability of the network to sustain itself, thrive, and achieve its objectives depends on the success that the network has in organizing and coordinating its constituent organizations. The network’s collaborative information and knowledge management strategy is critical to the functioning of the network and the achievement of objectives. A robust information and knowledge management strategy will bring organizations in the network together, help them share resources, collaborate on efforts, and further their objectives in a holistic manner. An inadequate information and knowledge management strategy might lead to disconnects in organizations due to lack of information sharing, poor collaborative knowledge generation, lack of coordination, leading to a fragmented network. Drawing on a multi-year, multi-method, and multi-organization study of the United States Intelligence Community (USIC), the paper puts forth a comprehensive framework to examine information and knowledge management challenges within the USIC, as well as other organizations.

It is about that Time…Congratulations to all UW iSchool Graduates

100_227211Congratulations to an excellent cohort of students who will receive their degrees next week. I have certainly enjoyed getting to know each of you. I especially want to thank the following students who have collaborated with me on various research projects during their time at the University of Washington Information School.

  • Modeling Effective Response Strategies for Terrorist Networks: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach, Jared P. Keller
  • Managing IT Organizations during an Economic Slowdown, Sathappan Thiagarajan and Subramaniam Ramasubramanian
  • Managing Large-Scale Technology Projects: Insights from the Film Industry, Elizabeth Samantha T. Dichupa, Meredith T. Slane, Jongmin Timothy Moon
  • On Information Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Cradle to Cradle Mentalities, Peter Ellis
  • I wish all of you continued success in all your professional and personal endeavors.

    On Information Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Cradle to Cradle Mentalities

    default_coverPeter Ellis (http://www.petercellis.com/), a graduate student at the University of Washington Information School,  and I have authored a new paper on Green IT. The paper, “On Information Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Cradle to Cradle Mentalities”, has been accepted for publication at Business Information Review.

    Abstract:
    Attempting to merge the topics of environmental sustainability and information management, this paper works towards defining both fields and constructing a viable framework that creates a strong relationship between the two topics. Reviewing literature on information management and environmental sustainability, this paper argues that the two topics must become inseparable – the work in one discipline must inform and advance the other. The need to do so is further underscored by the evolving nature of both disciplines.

    A New Work Force Wave: Managing Millennials (See beyond the stereotypes of the ‘Me Generation’ to harness creativity)

    I was recently interviewed for an article on innovation by Colin Simpson of the Bellingham Business Journal. To retrieve the article, please click here [LINK]. As I continue to study innovation practices in high-technology organizations, I continue to be amazed by the innovative capacities of the ‘Me Generation’….