Dynamics of inter-organizational knowledge creation and information technology use across object worlds: the case of an innovative construction project
Organizational research argues that under relational forms of governance a high degree of both information pooling and physical interaction are necessary for inter-organizational knowledge creation. Yet, recent studies of information and communication technologies (ICTs) suggest that both practices at the same time are sometimes unnecessary. We address this discrepancy by developing a framework whereby the intensity and proportion of these inter-organizational practices are affected by the object world congruence between designers within and across partnering firms, and the level to which a common information technology platform is embedded in their activity. Through a multi-level case study of a Frank Gehry construction project we illustrate how designers with highly congruent object worlds, due to a strongly embedded common information technology platform, could jointly create knowledge despite decreased physical interaction. Conversely, designers from firms with incongruent object worlds or with congruent object worlds lacking a strongly embedded common ICT platform demanded a higher degree of physical interaction for effective knowledge creation. Our research suggests a dynamic, evolutionary model of inter-organizational knowledge creation influenced by variation in object world congruence and the levels of embedding a common ICT platform.
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Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
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