How Can Enterprise Portals Foster Knowledge Work?
Enterprise portals are single-point Web browser interfaces used within organizations to promote the gathering, sharing, and dissemination of information throughout the firm. As such, these systems provide employees with a gateway or path to all encompassing content, services, and applications through one access point. For this reason, both academic and industry players alike envision the use of these tools as potential knowledge management solutions for helping employees access, share and utilize information for competitive advantage.
However, prior research in this area notes a gap between the anticipated and actual use of this technology, and the strong role contextual factors play in influencing the extent to which these systems support knowledge creation, distribution, and use. More research is required to investigate the challenges faced by management in developing and promoting enterprise portals in organizations and in formulating strategies which ameliorate their use for knowledge work.
This project proposes a multiple case-study research investigation which compares and evaluates the use of enterprise portals for knowledge work and the contextual factors surrounding their development and promotion across the firm. One-on-one semi-structured interviews will be conducted with key informants at each study site. Documents relating to the history and development of the portal, screen shots, and portal usage statistics will be gathered as well.
The objective is to understand the contextual factors surrounding the development and promotion of enterprise portals in organizations which enhance their utilization for knowledge creation, distribution, and use.
Potential Benefits to a Sponsoring Organization
The proposed project will elicit a set of recommendations that organizations can utilize to promote the use of enterprise portals for knowledge work. Such recommendations can help organizational workers better utilize enterprise portals for sharing insights and best practices, generating new ideas and know-how, and creating new products and services.