Web 2.0 Messaging Tools for Knowledge Management? Exploring the Potentials of Slack

Web 2.0 Messaging Tools for Knowledge Management? Exploring the Potentials of Slack

There are many web-based tools like social networks collaborative writing, or messaging tools that connect organizations in accordance with web 2.0 principles. Slack is such a web 2.0 instant messaging tool. As per developer, it
integrates the entire communication, file-sharing, real-time messaging, digital archiving and search at one place. Usage in
line with these functionalities would reflect expected appropriation, while other usage would account for unexpected
appropriation. We explored which factors of web 2.0 tools determine actual usage and how they affect knowledge
management (KM). Therefore, we investigated the relation between the three influencing factors, proposed tool utility from
developer side, intended usage of key implementers, and context of application, to the actual usage in terms of knowledge
activities (generate, acquire, organize, transfer and save knowledge). We conducted episodic interviews with key
implementers in five different organizational contexts to understand how messaging tools affect KM by analyzing the
appropriation of features. Slack was implemented with the intention to enable exchange between project teams, connecting
distributed project members, initiate a community of learners and establish a communication platform. Independent of the
context, all key implementers agreed on knowledge transfer, organization and saving in accordance with Slack’s proposed
utility. Moreover, results revealed that a usage intention of internal management does not lead to acquisition of external
knowledge, and usage intention of networking not to generation of new knowledge. These results suggest that it is not the
context of application, but the intended usage that mainly affects the tool's efficacy with respect to KM: I.e. intention seems
to affect tool selection, first, explaining commonalities with respect to knowledge activities (expected appropriation) and,
subsequently, intention also affects unexpected appropriation beyond the developers’ tool utility. A messaging tool is, hence,
not only a messaging tool, but it is ‘what you make of it!’

Transcript

  1. MEDIA & DESIGN Web 2.0 Messaging Tools for Knowledge Management?

    Exploring the Potentials of the Slack Software Sebastian Dennerlein, Robert Gutounig, Eva Goldgruber, Stefan Schweiger ECKM - 17th European Conference on Knowledge Management, Belfast (UK) 1st September, 2016
  2. MEDIA & DESIGN Overview Introduction Analytical Framework Object of study

    Research Question Method & Sample Results Use of Slack software in relation to KM Discussion & Conclusion 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger 2
  3. MEDIA & DESIGN Introduction 3

  4. MEDIA & DESIGN Introduction • Increase in communication and collaboration

    through web based tools in organisations (social networks, collaborative writing tools, or messaging tools etc.) • Tools based on Web 2.0 principles: ◦harnessing collective intelligence ◦rich user experience ◦lightweight models and cost-efficient scalability ◦pervasive computing / software above the level of a single device ◦... 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger 4 (Richter ea. 2014; O´Reilly 2007)
  5. MEDIA & DESIGN Analytical Framework • Concept of Appropriation Concept

    of appropriation as means for identification of (un)typical usage • Model of Knowledge Activities 5 (Chin ea. 1997; Dennerlein ea. 2016) 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  6. MEDIA & DESIGN 6 Knowledge Activities (Dennerlein ea. 2016) Expected

    appropriation
  7. MEDIA & DESIGN Slack software • Growing popularity since 2013:

    3 million daily active users • Listed as one of Breakthrough Technologies 2016 Developer description: • Tool for team communication that '[...] brings all your communication together in one place' and enables sharing of files, '[...] real-time messaging, archiving and searching' across platforms in an easy to use manner. • Document archiving, organization and searching functionalities 7 (Yeung 2016; Gomes 2016; Slack 2016) 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  8. MEDIA & DESIGN 8 Slack

  9. MEDIA & DESIGN How does • proposed utility, • context

    of application, • intended use and • actual use of Slack software relate to each other and to the perspective of knowledge management? 9 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  10. MEDIA & DESIGN Methods & Sample 10

  11. MEDIA & DESIGN Method & Sample • Exploratory case study

    approach: multiple case study • Interviews (team leaders or advocates of the software implementation) • 5 Slack application cases • Qualitative Content Analysis 11 (Yin 2011; Mayring 2000) 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  12. MEDIA & DESIGN Results 12

  13. MEDIA & DESIGN 13 Cases & Context Intended Use 1.

    Project based university course (UC) alternative to e-learning platform & support for project management 2. Distributed project team for software development (DP) coordination of & communication within a distributed team 3. NGO working group (WG) communication & project platform 4. Team in software development company (SC) support of agile project management 5. master degree program community (CC) communication platform for study program
  14. MEDIA & DESIGN Results 14 Knowledge Activity Actual Use Transfer

    knowledge CC, DP, SC, UC, WG Organize knowledge CC, DP, SC, UC, WG Save knowledge CC, DP, SC, UC, WG Acquire knowledge CC, WG Generate knowledge SC, UC, DP Expected appropriation Unexpected appropriation 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  15. MEDIA & DESIGN Discussion & Conclusion 15

  16. MEDIA & DESIGN Influencing factors: intentions of key implementors 16

    Support for Acquire knowledge Support for Generate knowledge 2. Networking, community building (CC, WG) 1. Project management (SC, UC, DP) Importance of the intentions of the key implementers 1. Influence on tool selection: Purpose of the tool is taken into account (faithful appropriation) 2. Affects actual usage of the tool beyond offered purpose (unfaithful appropriation) 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  17. MEDIA & DESIGN Conclusion • Context is less influential than

    intention with respect to KM related benefits • Context of application only provides the frame of possibilities whereas the intention of usage is the actual key to the KM related benefits of a tool implementation 17 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger A messaging tool is, hence, not only a messaging tool, but it is ‘what you make of it!’
  18. MEDIA & DESIGN References Chin, W. W., Gopal, A. and

    Salisbury, W. D. (1997) Advancing the Theory of Adaptive Structuration: The Development of a Scale to Measure Faithfulness of Appropriation. Information Systems Research, 8(4), pp 342–367. Dennerlein, S., Gutounig, R. and Schweiger, S. (2016) Knowledge activities revisited. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from http://wm- impulse.net/archives/2016/03/1058. Gomes, L. (2016) Slack: A service built for the era of mobile phones and short text messages is changing the workplace. Retrieved 29 March, 2016, from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600771/10-breakthrough-technologies-2016-slack. Lin, B. (2016) Why Developers Are Slacking Off: Understanding How Software Teams Use Slack. In CSCW ’16 Companion. Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion, pp 333–336. Mayring, P. (2000) Qualitative Content Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(2). O’Reilly, T. (2007) What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software.Communications & Strategies, 1, pp 17–37. Richter A., Schimek I., Kramer M., Leman F., Koch M. (2014) Status quo der Vernetzten Organisation. In A. Richter, ed. Vernetzte Organisation, De Gruyter, pp 35– 48. Slack (2016) Slack: Be less busy. Retrieved 29 March, 2016, from https://slack.com. Wittenbrink, H. (2014) Medienkompetenzen in der vernetzten Organisation. In A. Richter, ed. Vernetzte Organisation, De Gruyter, pp 55–68. Yeung, K. (2016) Slack passes 3 million daily active users, 930K paid seats. In VentureBeat Yin, R.K. (2011) Applications of case study research, Sage 18 1st September 2016 Dennerlein, Gutounig, Goldgruber, Schweiger
  19. MEDIA & DESIGN Web 2.0 Messaging Tools for Knowledge Management?

    Exploring the Potentials of Slack Read the full paper here: https://www.researchgate.net More info on current projects: www.fh-joanneum.at/dmd www.know-center.at www.wm-forum.org Sebastian Dennerlein, Robert Gutounig, Eva Goldgruber, Stefan Schweiger ECKM - 17th European Conference on Knowledge Management, Belfast (UK) 1st September, 2016