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The influence of workflow systems on team learning

  • Offenbeek, Marjolein A.G. van

    (Groningen University)

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    The question is raised what influence a team’s use of a workflow system will have on teamlearning. In office environments where the work is organised in semi-autonomous teams thatare responsible for whole processes, workflow systems are being implemented to effectivelyand efficiently realise the control and co-ordination of the work over different stages. Bychanging the rules and resources of a team workflow applications will have an effect on teamlearning. This influence is thought to be substantial, because by monitoring and manipulating work information, workflow systems offer support for the integration of entire work processes instead of separate activities. From a theoretical perspective it is analysed how five workflow functions can enable as well as constrain different processes of team learning, dependent on the choices being made during the selection, development, implementation and use of a system.Especially, routing, actor assignment and procedure management may implicitly enforce manynorms and va lues. This is expected to constrain cognitive learning processes. For thebehaviourally oriented learning processes either enabling or constraining influences areexpected to result depending on the authorisation rights. The theoretical assessment in thispaper forms the starting point for empirical research and offers practitioners points forreflection.

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    Paper provided by University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management) in its series Research Report with number 99A58.

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    Date of creation: 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugsom:99a58
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