Kollaborativt Lärande i Praktiken Design för Mobila IT-konsulters “kunskapande”
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the importance of collaborative practice among knowledge workers, for the individual learning process, and for the organizational learning of the company, and how to design IT-support for this collaborative learning activity. This study focus on collaboration among mobile IT-consultants. Their work tends to be mobile in the way that, they are often distributed in time and space, and this makes informal collaboration among peers and colleagues more difficult. Therefore, how to support collaboration in these situations becomes increasingly important. The method used for data gathering was a qualitative approach. Six interviews have been conducted and analyzed. The findings presented here, establish a need for collaboration in everyday practice and the importance of informal networks. These informal networks are constructed through personal relations in communities of practice, and not in first hand, by organizational structures. It is the persons in the informal networks the consultants collaborate with in everyday practice. This becomes an essential question for the consultant companies in the case of individual relations among employees. This study also enhances the importance of supporting the introduction of “new consultants” in the community, because the communities of practice are the locus of “real work” and where the learning takes place. It is important for the companies to understand where the knowledge exists, to be able to support the right practice. The knowledge exists in the relations between people. By supporting collaboration among mobile knowledge workers, the company also supports the organizational learning, and preserves the knowledge in the company as a living practice. To design IT- support for learning is, as much, an organizational issue and individual behaviour, as an issue of technology. The technology by itself does not construct relations, but it can help in the means of supporting interaction and relations, and thereby supporting collaborative learning in practice.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law