Help as Knowledge Management:

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6 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Help as Knowledge
Management:



Taking Care of Scarce Resources
through Informal Encouragement


JD Eveland, Ph.D.


December 11, 2000


Today’s Context


Organizations are increasingly technology
dependent


Technology isn’t self
-
implementing


Traditional model: expensive machines,
cheap/replaceable people


Current model: cheap machines, expensive
people


Thus: new kinds of “joint optimization”

The socio
-
technical balance
has shifted…


Crucial resource is knowledge


Knowledge is most critically
embedded in the organization’s people


It’s very easy for knowledge to walk
out the door…


Informal relationships make the
system work


“Help” as a key need


Knowledge is unequally distributed


Knowledge is a social event


The organization works only because
people help each other


Most help is informal


Most organizations aren’t set up to
encourage helping relationships

The CGU Studies


CGU
--

a private graduate school


2000 students, 200 staff


Diverse small programs, no “technical”
departments


Distributed environment


Major transition in computing support


Pre/Post surveys on computer use and help


Further analysis on organizational and
physical distance


Project Structure


Three survey rounds


Pre
-
hardware


One year of experience


Network experience


Surveys covered:


Demographics


Capabilities used


Information work


Satisfaction


Expectations


Interactions with others

Interaction networks
surveyed


People with whom they
work

regularly


People to whom they
go for help

when
they have problems with the computer


People to whom they
provide such help

Connections in the network

Work network

Help network

Within

Work group

Across

Work groups

With

ACC

Outside

CGU

140
(31%)

68
(16%)

125
(29%)

103
(24%)

184
(57%)

73
(22%)

11
(3%)

59
(18%)

436

327


Average help relationships, by
function

Faculty

Dep’t staff

Admin. Staff

Supervisors

ACC staff

Relations

N

1.44

1.53

1.59


.12

17.6

36

13

32

15


9

0
20
40
Cumulative number of individuals

Number

of help

relations

1

100

200

350

Break point for

High providers


Cumulative distribution of
help relationships

Patterns of help

High

Providers

Non
-

Providers

High

Providers

Non
-

Providers

ACC


Outside

Sources

10%

26%

14%

4%

22%

10%

54%

60%

R

E

C

I

P

I

E

N

T

Source

What distinguished a “high
provider”?


A wider range of information work


Use more computer tools


Have more computer education


Nothing demographic!


Age, status, experience, tenure, and gender are
unrelated to helping

But they do...

Various networks…


Working relations


Administrative distance


Helping relations


Physical distance

Work Relationships

Help relationships

Help relationships without ACC

Operationalizing “distance”

Art

to

Management


=

Barrier

Factor of

6


Working relationships
are most important to
helping


More than two physical
barriers become a
problem to helping


The formal structure
doesn’t matter much in
helping

So...What did we find out by
correlating the networks?



Help


Admin. Closeness


Physical closeness


Work help admin. Close.

.
60

.14

.28

.17

.21

.08

Conclusions here...


People get computer help from those with whom
they share work problems


The formal structure is less important than
either

working relationships
or

physical
distance


People don’t walk far to get help


Overall Conclusions


Help networks tend to be workgroup
-
based, with
central support


“High providers” focus help networks and
channel expertise into them


Help providers are just like us, only more so


Help networks need support and cultivation

Practical consequences


We reorganized the CGU help system


For the future, we need to…


Understand technology use as a knowledge
management problem


Recognize the knowledge based in people


Build systems to encourage sharing


Understand limits of formal arrangements