Integrating Workspace Design, Web-Based Tools and Organizational Behavior

By Mort, Joe; Knapp, John | Research-Technology Management, March/April 1999 | Go to article overview

Integrating Workspace Design, Web-Based Tools and Organizational Behavior


Mort, Joe, Knapp, John, Research-Technology Management


This group experiment created a collaborative work culture with attendant organizational knowledge, and increased business value for Xerox.

OVERVIEW: Industrial research organizations are constantly concerned with maximizing their business value by developing optimum organizational structures and work processes. A current preoccupation is how to capture the benefits of the burgeoning availability of networked electronic tools and the local and global connectivity they enable. An experiment designed to answer these issues was conducted at the Xerox Wilson Center for Research & Technology. Involving real R&D people in an existing organization, the experiment introduced several change agents, including workspace design, and web-based digital tools, together with organizational structures and behaviors. Unexpectedly, the outcome was an emergent "innovation" involving a fusion of these change agents. Positive impacts on organizational behavior and work processes, and factors that proved critical to these outcomes were also identified.

Researchers and their managements are increasingly challenged to articulate and demonstrate the business added-value derived from R&D investment dollars (1,2). This state of affairs has, in turn, focused attention on identifying ways to measure and increase such R&D value. The improvements sought can be in the number of technology options produced by an R&D organization, their quality (as measured by perceived business value) and the speed or efficiency with which they are generated.

To answer these complex questions, much literature has been generated by both academic communities and research organizations. But these tend to be concerned with either micro-issues, such as specific studies of research and technology as endogenous factors in innovation and economic growth, or, at a macro-level, with generic studies of ways to achieve better coupling of R&D to business and market needs through attendant organizational form and behavior (3,4). Not unnaturally, the emphasis for industrial research organizations has centered on the search for optimum organizational structures, values and modes of behavior and inquiry, a.k.a., work processes (5). More recently, these major areas of scrutiny have been expanded to encompass consideration of the possible impact of the burgeoning availability of networked electronic tools and the local and global connectivity they enable (6).

This article reports on an experimental pilot of the Laboratory for Remote Collaboration (LARC) project (7). This project was developed at the Design Research Institute (DRI) at Cornell University and established jointly by Xerox and Cornell. The original project goal was to explore means of improving collaborations between organizations separated by a road or a continent. The pilot described here had the less ambitious objective of studying the impact and value of various change agents, including workspace and electronic tools, in facilitating intra-organizational knowledge generation and sharing within one laboratory.

Pursued within the LX Competency Laboratory of the Xerox Corporation's Wilson Center for Research & Technology (WCR&T), the pilot involved an in vivo experiment involving real people, in a real organization, working on real technology problems. This article provides an account of the practical steps taken and some assessment of the progress made toward identifying new work and organizational practices that can provide tangible and measurable improvements in the internal business added-value of R&D.

The approach is to view the pilot as an experiment-the LX Experiment. The conceptual construct this analogy provides has proved useful in identifying and codifying a complex set of factors into definitions of experimental objectives, techniques, critical parameters, and metrics with which to analyze and interpret the results.

The LX Experiment

The LX laboratory, newly constituted in July 1994, had a coherent technical mission: the establishment of a competence in liquid ink-based marking technologies.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Integrating Workspace Design, Web-Based Tools and Organizational Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.