With organisational work increasingly performed by the collaboration of distributed groups, an improved understanding is needed of the co-creation of knowledge in emerging virtual structures. We explore the potential of the ubiquitous organisational tool, electronic mail (e-mail), for supporting collaborative knowledge creation in such settings. This research draws on a case study of knowledge creation occurring in e-mail conversations in a large Australian university and adopts a discourse analysis research approach. We describe a model of collaborative knowledge creation derived from the study and identify a preliminary set of key factors for organisational knowledge tools and their use by groups to support collaborative knowledge creation. The paper also provides insights into the role of e-mail in collaborative knowledge creation, not only in facilitating this process, but in shaping a participatory, multi-perspective, team-based approach to knowledge building. Organisational implications arising from this type of knowledge creation are also discussed in the paper.
Field of Research
080609 Information Systems Management
Socio Economic Objective
970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
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