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Can Intra-Organizational Wikis Facilitate Knowledge Transfer and Learning? An Explorative Case-Study

Can Intra-Organizational Wikis Facilitate Knowledge Transfer and Learning? An Explorative Case-Study

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Can Intra-Organizational Wikis Facilitate Knowledge Transfer and Learning?

An Explorative Case-Study

eLBa eLearning Baltics 2009
Alexander Stocker, Gisela Granitzer and Klaus Tochtermann
Know-Center, Knowledge Management Institute@TU-Graz, Institute for Networked Media@JOANNEUM Research

http://www.know-center.at
© Know-Center - gefördert durch das Kompetenzzentrenprogramm

Benefit
Show concept and implementation and operation of a wiki for knowledge transfer and learning within the enterprise

Provide quantitative and qualitative data from my evaluation Evaluate success of the deployed solution Stimulate ideas for your own business / research

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© Know-Center

Agenda
Introduction & motivation Wikis Study design Study results

Qualitative results (interviews) Quantitative results (online survey)

Conclusion

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Introduction
Web 2.0 impacts knowledge sharing and learning

Participative environment: From consumers to produsers Rich sources for knowledge acquisition

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© Know-Center

Motivation
Technology enhanced learning looks back on 15 years history

From one-way provision of standardized learning material within monolithic platforms to service based modular systems Application of more innovative ways of sharing information (Web 2.0)

Knowledge in the enterprise remains worthless, if not effectively exchanged

Lack of empirical studies from academia on how wikis 5 are effectively used in corporate environments
http://www.know-center.at

June 2009

© Know-Center

Motivation
Technology enhanced learning looks back on 15 years history

From one-way provision of standardized learning material within monolithic platforms to service based modular systems Application of more innovative ways of sharing information (Web 2.0)

Knowledge in the enterprise remains worthless, if not effectively exchanged

Lack of empirical studies from academia on how wikis 6 are effectively used in corporate environments
http://www.know-center.at

June 2009

© Know-Center

Wiki
“A Wiki is a freely expandable collection of interlinked Web pages, a hypertext system for storing and modifying information [and] a database, where each page is easily editable by any user.” [LC 01]

Motivation to implement Corporate Wikis driven by the success of Wikipedia on the Web

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Study design
Explorative case study [YIN, 1984]

Empirical inquiry
Investigates contemporary phenomenon In its real life context

Boundaries between pheonomenon and context not clearly evident

Single Case

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Study Design
Investigated Case

Austrian subsidiary of a large-scale multinational enterprise developing innovative electronic parts

Qualitative data

Structured interview of two managers (~3 hours) 40 questions on motivation, concept, implementation, success

Quantitative data

Online Survey of 59/210 non-executive employees (28% response rate)
© Know-Center

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June 2009

Qualitative Results
Starting point

SUP-DEP provides guidance in technical and methodical issues for all researchers and developers
One SUP-DEP member is responsible for one group of researchers Decentralized working environments limit the knowledge transfer between SUP-DEP members

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Qualitative Results

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Wiki

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Wiki

Short term goal

Long term goal
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Qualitative Results
A new Solution ?

Wiki to support knowledge transfer and interconnectedness ..
..to raise effectiveness and efficiency of support (=domain) Why a wiki?

Implementation and usage

Top down introduction by SUP-DEP‟s manager .. .. but creation of articles should happen bottom-up

12 Manifold actions to increase awareness and communicate benefit http://www.know-center.at
© Know-Center

June 2009

Qualitative Results
Evaluation concerning operation

500 articles in 1,5 years ..
.. periodically read by over 70 employees, .. .. about 15 employees highly involved in content creation 130.000 accesses / 10.000 total edits

Originally, the wiki was intended to stimulate knowledge transfer of SUP-DEP ..

.. but also the researchers themselves could benefit from the wiki in the long term

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Qualitative Results
Individual benefits

Wiki-full-text search: quick guidance for emerging problems
Wiki articles: formulations of both problems and their solutions on an adequate (user-centric) level Platform independent access Transparency on knowledge and knowledge holders

Organizational (group) benefits

More efficiency and effectiveness in SUP-DEP support (SUP-DEP‟s core-business)

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Quantitative Results
Selected quantitative results from the online survey on

Reading and writing behavior Motivation to read / edit articles Individual and organizational benefit Perceived obstacles of successful wiki adoption

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Quantitative Results
Reading behavior
less than montly; 31% several times a day; 8%

daily; 15%

monthly; 28% weekly; 18%
June 2009

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http://www.know-center.at

© Know-Center

Quantitative Results
Writing behavior
daily; 8%

weekly; 11% less than montly; 68%

monthly; 13%

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© Know-Center

Quantitative Results
For which of the following purposes do you read Wiki articles?

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© Know-Center

Quantitative Results
When you edit information in the wiki, what do you expect?

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Quantitative Results
In which aspects has the wiki helped you?
yes rather yes no rather no

Facilitate your work Faster performance of your work Better performance of your work Raise professional status Raise social status
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

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Quantitative Results
From your point of view, in which aspects has the wiki helped team / organization?
Improve knowledge transfer Faster performance of work Better performance of work Improve workflows Generate ideas for new projects Improve collaboration
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

yes rather yes rather no no

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© Know-Center

Quantitative Results
From your point of view, what are obstacles for a successful wiki adoption?
Too few wiki articles Too few employees create articles Retrieving knowledge is time consuming Editing knowledge is time consuming Only certain employees are allowed to read Possible conflicts with article creators Only certain employees are allowed to edit Too much transparency
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

content

yes rather yes rather no no

privacy

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http://www.know-center.at 80% 90% 100%

June 2009

© Know-Center

Conclusion
From Web 2.0 to Enterprise 2.0

Evolution in knowledge sharing and learning

Corporate Wiki in Austrian Enterprise

Starting point, implementation, benefits

A „clean‟ business-case as success-factor

Wiki-goals, content and forecasted benefits have to be clearly conceptualized and communicated

Focused target group(s) (primary, secondary)

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© Know-Center

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