Organizational impacts of collaborative information technologies: Case studies and empirical evidence
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This conference paper is published on CD-Rom by Group Decision and Negotiation 'GDN': Coimbra, Portugal 2008
Our research focuses on information technology (IT) enabled collaboration systems. We refer to these systems as Collaborative Information Technologies (CITs). Traditional collaboration systems were designed to improve performance of group members or teams by supporting communications and the flow of information. However, modern day CITs have the capabilities to support not only communication and information flow, but also the computing needs of teams/groups engaged in accomplishing tasks/projects. There are many CIT options that organizations can deploy to support team work with varying degrees of virtuality. While some of these technologies have been around for decades (for example, audio conferencing, video conferencing, proprietary groupware, group support systems etc.), others became popular more with the commercialization of the Internet (email, intranets, extranets, web conferencing, data conferencing etc.). Although most CITs support limited functionality for collaboration, integrated e-collaboration tools are beginning to emerge to support a range of functionality required in collaborative efforts [Munkvold and Zigurs 2005]. In recent years, the increasing popularity of CITs has triggered a large number of research investigations and the trend continues to grow. Much of this research has focused on groups as the unit of analysis. There have been only a few large scale organizational level studies exploring CITs. Moreover, for the most part, these studies have investigated specific/individual CITs despite the notion that most collaborative efforts should typically be supported by multiple tools. Some studies exploring adoption of multiple CITs have been undertaken [see Bayo-Moriones and Lera-Lopez 2007; Bajwa et al. 2008]. However, to our knowledge there are no large scale organizational level empirical studies exploring CIT impacts. Here we describe our efforts to explore post adoption impacts of CITs at the organization level.
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