Organizational processes today are marked by a growing fragmentation of knowledge and responsibilities. Rarely a process is found that is entirely carried out by one small group of people housed in the same department and physically close to each other. The most likely picture are processes encompassing activities carried out by two or more separate departments that are physically isolated from each other, and whose members have their own "culture" and follow their own schedules. While this configuration has its advantages, it also leads to a number of problems stemming from the fact that members of one department have very little knowledge about what members of other collaborating departments do. This paper discusses a study in which an email-based collaboration technology is used to support knowledge communication among people from different departments. The findings of this study are generally positive and contradict most of the empirical research conducted so far. Yet, these findings are plausibly explained based on a combination of social influences and compensatory adaptive behavior.
Kock, Ned, "Sharing Interdepartmental Knowledge using Collaboration Technologies: An Action Research Study" (1999). AMCIS 1999 Proceedings. 47.