Knowledge Brokering and the Work of Information Technology Professionals Essay
Knowledge Brokering and the Work of Information Technology Professionals
This section talks about the purpose of the exploratory study; the result that brokering practices for information distribution are affected by the structural conditions in the organization.
This section talks about how an IT professional views himself and what some IT professionals feel about their role in the information distribution chain in the company. It talks about how an IT professional must expand his or her role to take on the mantle of spreading information to all quarters and feel that their responsibility is not only to ensure that information flows but ensure that information is available to everyone in a way that they are made aware of instead of them seeking information when they need it. It knows vs. seeking.
This section talks about the absence of any previous theories on knowledge brokering and how the authors used studies from the area of organizational science to base their study and start their research. It also points to the limitation of the article that it doesn’t talk about any best practices that can be used in effective knowledge transfer amongst the different units of an organization
This section talks about how there are different boundaries in an organization, internal as well as external and how boundary spanners are the ones who have the responsibility of transferring knowledge from one unit to another unit of the organization.
This section talks about the theory that learning and knowledge transfer depend on the community that the people interact in. it brings along aspects like culture, whether in the organization of in the city or country. It talks about how different people have different views on things and that their environment can and will strengthen their views – as most of us like to be with like minded people.
This section talks about the whole methodology of how the authors have gone about researching the article and coming up with their theory and reasoning.
This section gives a reasonably detailed background of the company that is chosen for research. The company is a fortune 100 company with 55,000 employees and has 600 plants and centers in North America.
This section talks about the data collection methodology, which was a semi-structured interview of one hour durations. They started from the CIO and went down the chain of command. The interviews were held with IT professionals as was the scope and basis of the study.
This section talks about how the data that was gathered during interviews was later reviewed and how the authors went about adding notes and additional comments to the information before they came to the results. The analysis was mainly qualitative. Only 23 participants make up the whole study.
The result was a set of themes that came out from the analysis of the interviews that were conducted. The authors went into brief details of each theme and they are presented below.
Position of IT professionals
This talks about how IT professional position themselves in the organization to be effective in the work they do. The fact that most positions required domain expertise helped the IT professionals as they were able to build credibility with the department that they worked in.
Shared Systems as Boundary Objects
This section explains how the fact that IT is a part of every business transaction affects all changes that happen in an organization. It also talks about how the IT professionals’ participation in all important meetings becomes a chance for knowledge brokering and how IT professionals can take advantage of such opportunities.
This section gives an introduction to the types of themes for knowledge brokering that emerged; they are discussed in detail later.
This is the first theme and it refers to IT professionals going to different units and spreading information or sharing knowledge. It talks about how the initiative taken by different IT professionals can affect the knowledge brokering within the company.
Surfacing and Challenging Assumptions
This section talks about how IT professionals would regularly ask “Why” to challenge a certain assumption and find out the underlying reason or change the systems using this approach.
Translation and Interpretation
This section talks about the theme of being a translator and interpreter for different departments and being the person who would find solutions amongst all the jargons that they use.
This section talks about how for every change the IT professionals always needed the approval of the units that they worked in. it also mentions how the IT professionals presented themselves to be impartial although they always wanted a certain way to implement things.
Consequences of Knowledge Brokering
This section talks about how the IT professionals not only saw themselves as IT people but also as people who moved the information from one part of the company to another part.
This section wraps up the topic and dwells on the fact that shared systems was one of the most important tools that IT professionals used in sharing knowledge and how the job of an IT professional was changing in the structures that exist in different organizations.
In this section the authors evaluate their work and inform the reader how their study covers many differing aspects and what it offers.
This section talks about how the role of the IT professional in information sharing is diminishing as they get sidelined to only building and maintaining information systems. It also mentions that the IT professionals now have to revaluate their jobs and see how they can add more value to the organization.
This section lists all the references that are used in the article.
About the authors
This section talks about the authors, their achievements and specialties.
This section lists the questions that were asked during the interviews that were conducted.
The authors assume that what happens in one company happens in all company. They mention themselves that the role of an IT professional can change depending on the structure in the organization, its contradictory.
The study only looks at one company and interviewed 23 people in it. The whole paper is based on information gathered there. It does not use any statistical tools and the theory is based on qualitative data only. The study does not share any best practices (lack of comparative sample) and does not give concrete suggestions on what the future holds for the IT professional.