Innovators intent: role of IT in facilitating innovative knowledge practices in social enterprises

Granados, M. and Rai, Sudhanshu 2017. Innovators intent: role of IT in facilitating innovative knowledge practices in social enterprises. 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Atlanta, Georgia, US 04 - 08 Aug 2017 Academy of Management. doi:10.5465/ambpp.2017.13995abstract

TitleInnovators intent: role of IT in facilitating innovative knowledge practices in social enterprises
AuthorsGranados, M. and Rai, Sudhanshu
TypeConference paper
Abstract

With this paper we want to explore further the innovators intent, where social enterprises use imaginative ways to take advantage of information technology to create, share and manage the knowledge pool of their small enterprise. We draw on several perspectives on how information processing needs are addressed, as well as the manner in which IT enables and facilitates sense-making. Studies exploring the role of IT in organisations abound, however our focus is not large organisations but small social enterprises (SEs) and how they use IT to further their business objectives. Hence there is still a lack of understanding on how IT can support the management of knowledge within the context of SEs dealing with different contextual settings influenced by: constant tensions between social and economic objectives, more focus on sustainability than competiveness, limited resources, and high levels of democratic participation. All these conditions manifest themselves in SEs, aiming to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s quality of life, and environment. To obtain a conceptual and empirical understanding of how IT can facilitate acquisition, conversion and application of knowledge in SEs, we conducted a qualitative study with 21 interviews to owners, senior members and founders of SEs in the UK, underpinned by findings from a quantitative survey with 432 responses. We found how IT was supporting informal practices of knowledge management in SEs, more the recovery and storage of necessary information in SEs, and less the collaborative work and communication among enterprise members. However, it was established that SEs were using different technologies, such as, cloud solutions and web 2.0 tools to manage informally their knowledge. The possible impediments for SEs to support themselves more on IT solutions can be linked mainly to economic and human constraints. These findings elucidate new perspectives of how small and hybrid organisations are supporting their operations using IT and the crucial role of cloud and web 2.0 tools in facilitating informal knowledge management practices.

KeywordsInformation technology,Innovation, Social enterprise
Year2017
Conference77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
PublisherAcademy of Management
Accepted author manuscript13995.pdf
Publication dates
Published30 Nov 2017
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Journal citation2017 (1), p. 13995
ISSN0065-0668
LicenseCC BY-NC-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.5465/ambpp.2017.13995abstract
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttps://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/ambpp.2017.13995abstract

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