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Collaborative information sharing in complex and extended organizations

Bata, Paul Peter (2018) Collaborative information sharing in complex and extended organizations. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Organizational forms are changing and developing. The new forms of organizations include networked and hybrid organizations forms which have interdependencies and use technological applications in their operations. These organizations are extended and complex in terms of relationships, operations and boundary crossing. Whilst literatures on information behaviours exist in different work contexts, there is little or no reference to information sharing in these new complex and extended settings, leaving the area under studied. This study, therefore, set out to explore how complexity and extension influence collaborative information sharing and how complex and extended organizations respond to deficiencies in information sharing. The study used a qualitative research methodology on a single case study organization including 46 semi-structured interviews, observations, and document analysis from 4 different sets of participants within the case study organization as well as the extended stakeholder community that it works with. This was a non-probability sample based on convenience. Activity Theory was used as a framing tool and lens in guiding the choice of sample as well as analysis, as the approach allows the consideration of transient and cross boundary multiple relationships. Fourth generation activity theory was used as a complementary approach to third generation activity theory; giving a level of insight in terms of the activity systems, shared object, and tensions and contradictions as drivers of information sharing failures. The findings suggest failures in the sharing of information are linked with, in part at least, the increase in complexity caused by organizational extension. This study reports the use of specialised teams and groups (with a complementary nature) as ways of responding to and managing such information sharing failures. Key among the reactions observed was the formation of knots; among these were some whose characteristics are qualitatively different to those discussed and described in extant literature. These knots mitigate the deficiencies in the setting but behave in a different way from knots in other settings studied in the literature. The knots reported are motivated and shaped by the extended specialised nature of the setting and serve as a way of filling the expertise need which cuts across organizational boundaries. The key differences observed are in the crafting process of developing membership, and the speed of formation of such knots. This study has value for both theory and practice; having implications for the use of tools, rules and roles and policy in decision making and guiding practice in responding to information sharing failures in these new, complex and extended, organizational forms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Collaborative information sharing, complex extended organization, Information sharing failure and Activity Theory
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Leeds University Business School > Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr. p.p. Bata
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 10:43
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 10:57
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22006

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