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Dynamics of inter-organizational knowledge creation and information technology use across object worlds: the case of an innovative construction project

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  • Nicholas Berente
  • Ryan Baxter
  • Kalle Lyytinen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Berente & Ryan Baxter & Kalle Lyytinen, 2010. "Dynamics of inter-organizational knowledge creation and information technology use across object worlds: the case of an innovative construction project," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(6), pages 569-588.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:28:y:2010:i:6:p:569-588
    DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2010.489926
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