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When an informal tool meets a formal organisation -­ supporting collaboration by a Virtual Workspace

K. Bødker

Reference & Publication Year
Keld Bødker, Mogens Kühn Pedersen, Jacob Nørbjerg, Jesper Simonsen and Morten Thanning Vendelø (Eds.). Proceedings of the 25th Information
Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia. August 10-13, 2002. Bautahøj, Denmark., 2002

This paper reports from a case study of the introduction of a new tool – Lotus QuickPlace™ – in a Scandinavian financial organisation. Lotus QuickPlace is a general tool for supporting communication and collaboration in small informal groups. It was introduced to support collaboration between geographically dispersed people working together. The introduction resulted in a number of clashes between the technology and the organisation’s IT management practices, as well as very unforeseen uses. According to our analysis these clashes stem partly from a general misunderstanding of the character of the technology, partly from IT management or implementation models that didn’t apply to a general tool for communication and collaboration. The paper discusses the implications of our empirical findings for implementation models of open technologies like Lotus QuickPlace. We show how an application of Orlikowski and Hofman (1997)’s change management model might improve the understanding of the implementation process, and further identify potential benefits from introducing a distinction between macro and micro level perspectives into the model.

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