A preliminary evaluation of an enterprise-wide eCollaboration solution : a case study in Statoil
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Based on the World Wide Web and the internet new possibilities have emerged for organisations in terms of collaboration. Organisations invest heavily in collaborative systems to be able to collaborate more efficiently both internally and externally. There is increasing research in the area of collaboration technologies. By focusing on group interaction, collaborative technologies pose new opportunities to organisations. The potential benefits including more efficient and better collaboration, cost savings by communication across organisational boundaries and improved possibilities for decision making. However, new opportunities raise new challenges. Prior research suggests that obtaining benefits from information systems is not only dependent on the technology itself, but very much dependent on organisational factors. The aim of out study was to explore effects obtained by an enterprise-wide eCollaboration solution, both negative and positive, and provide lessons learned and future guidelines to how an organisation may obtain the potential benefits and eCollaboration solution may provide. In the literature review we provide an introduction to collaboration technology. The review includes different aspects of collaboration technology. Based on the time-space taxonomy first presented by DeSanctis and Gallupe (1987) we present different types of collaboration technologies, before we introduce possible benefits and areas where collaboration technology may differ from traditional information systems. We address several factors that influence collaboration technology implementations through a taxonomy developed by Munkvold (2003). The factors are divides into general factors and technology specific factors to cover the entire solution to its full extent. Further we provide a historical perspective on IT benefits realisation by illustrating several closely related models for the assessment of IT investments. At last we present one emerging framework of IT investment benefits realisation; namely Benefits Management. This project has been conducted in Statoil, a large Norway oil company situated with head quarter in Stavanger, Norway. The research has consisted of document analysis of central corporate documents related to the solution and qualitative interviews. The document analysis was conducted in order to have a good foundation for forming the interviews. In addition, 13 interviews were conducted, transcribed, categorised and analysed. Our findings were discussed in light of prior research done on collaboration technologies. We found several issues that have influenced the adoption process and roll-out of the collaboration solution. We found that there has been an increased focus on collaboration and that the solution has had a definitive impact related to the employees’ work processes. Most of the factors that influenced benefits realisation were closely related to the influencing factors highlighted in the literature review. Our research supports that organisations do not emphasise support activities for the implementation project to a large enough extent, something that in terms affect the realisation of benefits. However, by implementing functionality that provides a more “open” environment our research found that an increased focus on the collaboration process and certain roles are necessary to be able to realise the potential benefits, and the increased focus needs to be maintained due to a timely dependent benefits realisation process. The tools that are most likely to be adopted easily are the tools for individual production and coordination. The tools that require group interaction and collaboration to produce the outcome are due to a higher threshold of learning and disparity in work and benefit not that easily adopted. These tools require more attention and initiatives should be initiated to attain the possible effects. Shortly summarised our research found that there are many intervening factors that effect whether organisations obtain the potential benefits from their investments or not, and that there should be an increased focus towards activities to support the implementation project. During our analysis we found some interesting areas of research which can build on this report. Concerning the qualitative view of this research it will be interesting to use our results to conduct a quantitative study involving more participants to get a more definitive view of how successful the implementation has been. It would be interesting to explore the usage of a common archive of information storage and retrieval and how this more definitely affects individual users, and the organisation as a whole. With the implementation of a powerful intranet search engine it would be interesting to investigate users search behaviour and what users emphasise when searching the intranet; in general their subjective behaviour towards intranet searching. At last, the early phase of this research made it difficult to investigate how possibilities for external collaboration affect the organisation, so it may be interesting to emphasise this in future research.
Masteroppgave i informasjonssystemer 2006 - Høgskolen i Agder, Kristiansand
PublisherHøgskolen i Agder
Agder University College