Affiliated Organization

Proceedings of JAIS Theory Development Workshop


The theory developed in this study seeks to construct an attention-based view of knowledge integration that underscores the importance of IS interface design. The assumption is that presenting ideas via user interface plays a key role in enabling and motivating knowledge integration in electronic brainstorming groups. Building on the attention-based view and motivation-ability framework, the current theory focuses on two major attributes of user interface: visibility and prioritization. While the first attribute is concerned with enabling knowledge integration via directing attention to a limited set of knowledge items, the second attribute intends to enhance the motivation for knowledge integration by exposing prioritized ideas to individuals’ attention. Knowledge integration at the group level is an essential process for establishing knowledge-based capabilities. To harness the collective value of the knowledge owned by individuals, organizations must facilitate knowledge integration. Lack of knowledge integration significantly reduces the value of knowledge sharing, which has long been the focus of organizational research. Unless attended to, processed, and integrated by recipients, the shared knowledge does not guarantee any benefit to the organization. However, pervasive use of online collaborative knowledge creation platforms (e.g., discussion boards, technical forums) has brought about an abundance of information that competes for attracting individuals’ attention. This information abundance made available electronically, calls for revisiting knowledge presentation via user interface to enhance knowledge integration. If not properly presented via user interface, information abundance distorts individuals’ attention and overshadows good ideas that are stored electronically among many others. This distortion will adversely influence individuals’ ability and motivation for knowledge integration.This theory developed in this study is distinct from previous research of computer-mediated knowledge integration in at least two ways: the frameworks explicitly separates knowledge integration and knowledge sharing and focuses exclusively on knowledge integration. Second, the attention-based view of knowledge integration is used to construct a motivation-ability framework for knowledge integration in the context of IS user interface.