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Monitoring Enterprise Collaboration Platform Change and the Building of Digital Transformation Capabilities: An Information Infrastructure Perspective

  • Enterprise collaboration platforms are increasingly gaining importance in organisations. Integrating groupware functionality and enterprise social software (ESS), they have substantially been transforming everyday work in organisations. While traditional collaboration systems have been studied in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) for many years, the large-scale, infrastructural and heterogeneous nature of enterprise collaboration platforms remains uncharted. Enterprise collaboration platforms are embedded into organisations’ digital workplace and come with a high degree of complexity, ambiguity, and generativity. When introduced, they are empty shells with no pre-determined purposes of use. They afford interpretive flexibility, and thus are shaping and being shaped by and in their social context. Outcomes and benefits emerge and evolve over time in an open-ended process and as the digital platform is designed through use. In order to make the most of the platform and associated continuous digital transformation, organisations have to develop the necessary competencies and capabilities. Extant literature on enterprise collaboration platforms has proliferated and provide valuable insights on diverse topics, such as implementation strategies, adoption hurdles, or collaboration use cases, however, they tend to disregard their evolvability and related multiple time frames and settings. Thus, this research aims to identify, investigate, and theorise the ways that enterprise collaboration platforms are changing over time and space and the ways that organisations build digital transformation capabilities. To address this research aim two different case study types are conducted: i) in-depth longitudinal qualitative case study, where case narratives and visualisations capturing hard-to-summarise complexities in the enterprise collaboration platform evolution are developed and ii) multiple-case studies to capture, investigate, and compare cross-case elements that contribute to the shaping of enterprise collaboration platforms in different medium-sized and large organisations from a range of industries. Empirical data is captured and investigated through a multi-method research design (incl. focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews, literature reviews, qualitative content analysis, descriptive statistics) with shifting units of analysis. The findings reveal unique change routes with unanticipated outcomes and transformations, context-specific change strategies to deal with multiple challenges (e.g. GDPR, works council, developments in the technological field, competing systems, integration of blue-collar workers), co-existing platform uses, and various interacting actors from the immediate setting and broader context. The interpretation draws on information infrastructure (II) as a theoretical lens and related sociotechnical concepts and perspectives (incl. inscriptions, social worlds, biography of artefacts). Iteratively, a conceptual model of the building of digital transformation capabilities is developed, integrating the insights gained from the study of enterprise collaboration platform change and developed monitoring change tools (e.g. MoBeC framework). It assists researchers and practitioners in understanding the building of digital transformation capabilities from a theoretical and practical viewpoint and organisations implement the depicted knowledge in their unique digital transformation processes.
Author:Clara Sabine Nitschke
Referee:Susan P. Williams, Petra Schubert, Catherine A. Hardy
Advisor:Susan P. Williams
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2021/08/25
Date of publication:2021/08/26
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz, Fachbereich 4
Date of final exam:2021/07/28
Release Date:2021/08/26
Tag:change; digital transformation; enterprise collaboration platforms; information infrastructure; longitudinal
Number of pages:xvi, 322, XXXV
Institutes:Fachbereich 4 / Institut für Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsinformatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 000 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG