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Chapter 8

COMMERCE 2KA3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Telecommuting, Collaborative Software, Product Design

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Chapter 8: Helping Organizations Access, Share, and Use Information
Teams, Partnerships, and Alliances
The advent and proliferation of network-based computing has enabled
organizations to build systems with which all sorts of communities can
Core Competency: an organizations, key strength, a business function that it
does better than any of its competitors
Core competency strategy: is one in which an organization chooses to focus
specifically on what it does best (its core competency) and forms
partnerships and alliances with other specialist organizations to handle
nonstrategic business processes
Strategic alliances enable businesses to gain competitive advantages through
access to a partner’s resources
Information Partnership: occurs when two or more organizations cooperate by
integrating their IT systems, thereby providing customers with the best of
what each can offer
Over the past few years most business processes have changed on various
dimensions because of market conditions and organizational models
Collaboration system: an IT-based set of tools that supports the work of
teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information
Collaboration systems allow people, teams, and organizations to leverage
and build upon the ideas and talents of staff, suppliers, customers, and
business partners
Collaboration systems involves a unique set of business challenges that:
oInclude complex interactions between people who may be in different
locations and desire to work across function and discipline areas
oRequire flexibility in work process and the ability to involve other
quickly and easily
oCall for creating and sharing information rapidly and effortlessly within
a team

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Successful organizations identify and invest in their core competencies, and
outsource or collaborate for those competencies that are not core to them
Collaboration systems fall into one of two categories
oUnstructured collaboration (sometimes referred to as information
collaboration) includes document exchange, shared whiteboards,
discussion forums, and e-mail
oStructured Collaboration (or process collaboration): involves shared
participation in business processes, such as workflow, in which
knowledge is hard-coded as rules
The integration of IT systems enables an organization to provide employees,
partners, customers, and suppliers with the ability to access, find, analyze,
mange and collaborate on content
Knowledge Management

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Knowledge Management: involves capturing, classifying, evaluating,
retrieving, and sharing information assets in a way that provides context for
effective decisions and actions
Knowledge Management: is the process through which organizations
generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets
Knowledge management is about how companies cultivate and promote
practices (behaviours) and the use of tools (such as information technologies)
that help capture, store, organize, and make the best use of information
within and across the enterprise to increase and leverage organizational
knowledge and know-how
Knowledge Management in Business
The primary objective of knowledge management is to be sure that a
company’s knowledge of facts, sources of information, and solutions are
readily available to all employees whenever it is needed
Knowledge Management System: supports the capturing, organization, and
dissemination of knowledge throughout an organization
Explicit and Tacit Knowledge
In general, intellectual and knowledge-based assets fall into one of two
categories: explicit or tacit
Explicit knowledge: consists of anything that can be documented, archived
and codified, often with the help of IT
Tacit knowledge: knowledge contained in people’s heads
The challenge inherent in tacit knowledge is figuring out how to recognize,
generate, share, and manage knowledge that resides in people’s heads
Shadowing and joint problem solving are two best practices for transferring
or re-creating tacit knowledge inside an organization
oShadowing: With shadowing, less experienced staff observe more
experienced staff to learn how their more experienced counterparts
approach their work
oJoint Problem Solving: Because people are often unaware of how they
approach problems or do their work and therefore cannot
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