Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Building the Premise of a Virtual Organization: Obstacles and Enabling Conditions

Giulio Iacucci*, Oliver Stiemerling+, Volker Wulf+ *Laboratory of Information Processing Science Helsinki University of Technology P.O. Box 5400, FIN-02015 HUT, Finland, giulio@cs.hut.fi +Universität Bonn, Institut für Informatik III Projektbereich ProSEC, {f (os∣volker}@cs.uni-bonn.de


1 Introduction

As networked organizations proliferate, often systems are introduced in more than one enterprise simultaneously. Current change process models for the introduction of groupware ( Bikson 1996, Orlikowsky and Hofman 1997, Ciborra 1996) and Participatory Design (PD) approaches ( Greenbaum and Kyng 1991, Namioka and Schuler 1993, Kensing and Blomberg 1998) were developed for and are applied within single organization's contexts. The case study described in this paper reports the experience of the ORGTECH Project where groupware and 3D CAD were introduced in two small engineering companies and in their major customer, a steel mill. The case study suggests that aspects beyond those mentioned in the current literature are influential to the introduction process in the case of more organizations. Especially conflicts of interests and policies turned out to be obstacles for the planned introduction process. The case also shows how, in this case, the introduction process tends to be influenced by external market conditions. The participation of users, IT/IS departments and managers as well as the well-timed release of resources were positive driving forces.


2 The OrgTech Project

ORGTECH aims at supporting the cooperative work processes within and between two engineering firms and a steel mill as one of their customers. The two engineering firms, here Techno and Doku, take on subcontractual work for

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