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How is new organisational knowledge created in a virtual context?

Updated Friday, 10th February 2017

Dr. Evangelia Baralou shows how virtuality can contribute to knowledge creation in modern organisations.

Seeking to enhance our understanding of organizational knowledge creation in multimodal polysynchronous contexts, this paper empirically explores a project team, within a UK-based international company, concerned with the development of new software.

Our aim is to extend current dialogical approaches to organizational knowledge creation, largely developed in the context of face-to-face communication, into virtual contexts of communication. Through close analysis of the ICT-mediated dialogical interactions between the members of a project team and the occasional face-to-face interactions between certain members of the project team and other organizational members, we show how knowledge creation emerges via three core dialogical processes: dialogues with real others, quasi-dialogues with invisible others, and quasi-dialogues with virtual artifacts.

Exploring these processes in more depth, we further argue that the dialogical processes at hand are crucially shaped by team members actively working with the materiality of technology used, which enables them to:

  1. Mobilise multiple task-related voices when simultaneously interacting in multiple contexts
  2. Alter the boundaries of communication to suit the demands of the task at hand
  3. Textualize the ongoing experience of interaction with others and artifacts

Read the paper: Baralou, E. and Tsoukas, H. (2015) ‘How is new knowledge created in a virtual context? A dialogical approach’, Organization Studies, 36(5), 593-620.

 

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