Designing the new intranet
Designing the new intranet is about exploiting web technology in an organisational context so that the users can better utilise the intranet from a knowledge management perspective. This means to take advantage of the specific features that characterise web technology, to take advantage of the tangible traces of everyday work activities, and to take advantage of the fact that actions on an intranet are not isolated events. The pervading theme in this thesis is how to design the intranet to activate the users rather than a preoccupation with technology per se. The ambition has been to understand why intranets are being underutilised and to influence the way intranets are understood. Another objective has been to design a new framework for intranet implementations in general and for knowledge creation and knowledge sharing in particular. The research described in this thesis has taken place in an industrial environment and in close collaboration with the members of the organisation under study. The results apply to and are relevant to large and/or geographically disperse organisations, where the members do not know or know of each other and the organisation as a whole does not know what it knows. Further, leveraging the knowledge of the employees becomes increasingly important in the post-industrial society, where organisations depend on networks, co-operation, and openness to achieve a competitive edge. This thesis consists of five papers and a framing introduction. Papers 1, 2, and 3 deal with enacted knowledge and competence, whereas papers 4 and 5 are targeted towards innovation and knowledge creation. The introduction places the papers in a context and presents the contributions; (1) the application prototypes, (2) the papers, and (3) the intranet design framework.