Managing information and knowledge have become the core activity for a number of companies. As Florida (2002) describes in books, the rise of the creative class, companies are now learning organization that need to innovate and create knowledge. Due to globalization companies have to handle more and more information coming from several and different sources all around the world. Moreover the internationalization of markets has made people to work with colleagues in different sites, sometimes thousand of kilometers away. Managing all this transformation is a real challenge for today's companies and the Information Technologies (IT) are often seen as a holly key, to connect people, gather, and store and spread information.
In this paper I will try to understand the different stakes when a company implements a new IT system. Settling a new system is seen as an important moment in companies' life and requires a lot of investment from all the members of the organization. The IT system will handle a more or less important part of the information, but also the interaction between workers.
[...] Managerial consequences Now we have seen the different way an IT system can support knowledge management, we will focus on managerial consequences and power relation when organizations implement a new IT system. We will see first that this leads to a new deal in terms of organization culture and business practices and power. Then we will explore the effect of building a knowledge repository. Finally we will see how IT system can be considered as a panoptical tool. Power will be seen here as (scare) resource whose allows people to shape the behavior of others”, Hislop (2005 p. [...]
[...] Shared knowledge Geoff Walsham (2001) argues that the firms have to provide the right tool to allow different communities of practices and workgroup among it to share, exchange and create knowledge. By having a place to share and exchange knowledge, the work group can develop new knowledge or access quickly to information. Concerning the communities of practice, the electronic place has to be informal and often a discussion board or simply emails are enough. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a good example. [...]
[...] 93) presents the works of Gray (2001), the implementation of knowledge repositories can change the balance of power. The power of workers is reduced and they are less valuable to the organization once, all their knowledge enter in the IT system. This problem refers to the difficulty of keeping some knowledge inside the organization when members are leaving it. With the creation of those repositories, employee can fear to be made redundant as soon as their knowledge is saved. In any case this dilutes their expertise, and can make them unwilling to fill the database. [...]
[...] During an interview with an employee of Cap Gemini, a major French companies which implement IT system like ERP, he pointed out that integrate a customized ERP to a large company can take up to three years. This is the time to understand completely each process, and train all employees. So implementing a new IT system lead to a new deal in term of process and power require a lot of preparation. The organization needs to pay attention to all the aspect who will be concerned. [...]
[...] Actually, managing the implementation of an IT system has a lot to do with managing change in an organization. The IT system has to fit the organizational culture or have to be accepted by it. To illustrate this issue I will use a personal experience. During an internship in a small French buying office, I had to implement a new IT system to transfer payment contract (letter of credit) between the company and one of its bank. Before the task was done by fax with the contract sent to the bank which controlled it and type it in its own system. [...]
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