Knowledge sharing using IT service management tools: conflicting discourses and incompatible practices

Trusson, Clive R., Doherty, Neil F. and Hislop, Donald (2014) Knowledge sharing using IT service management tools: conflicting discourses and incompatible practices. Information Systems Journal, 24 (4). pp. 347-371. ISSN 1350-1917

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


ICT applications that include functionality for knowledge sharing are routinely used by IT service providers even though their implementation is known to be problematic and the reasons for such problems not well understood. To shed
light on the issue, we collected data at two organisations where managers had provided IT service support workers with IT service management (ITSM) tools incorporating functionality for knowledge sharing. Using critical discourse analysis
and rhetorical analysis techniques, we contrasted primary data representative of IT service support practice with other primary and publicly available secondary data reflecting the prevailing discourse of IT service managers. Through this analysis, we identify an apparent dissonance between ITSM managerial and worker discourses that reflect opposing epistemologies. Managers are optimistic about the benefits of ICT-based knowledge sharing, whereas the practice of workers is revealed to privilege self-reliance and interpersonal knowledge sharing. By taking a dual, management–worker, perspective, we provide fresh insight into why ICT-based knowledge sharing is problematic. As a theoretical contribution, we propose that dysfunctional intra-organisational conflict can arise where incompatiblemanagement and worker practices become institutionalised through the simultaneous diffusion of conflicting discourses.

Keywords:Knowledge transfer, IT Service Management, Discourse analysis, Knowledge sharing, Rhetoric, NotOAChecked
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G500 Information Systems
N Business and Administrative studies > N210 Management Techniques
N Business and Administrative studies > N600 Human Resource Management
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G720 Knowledge Representation
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:11784
Deposited On:04 Sep 2013 14:34

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