Groupware and Business Process Improvement: technology enabled organisational learning

Nereu Kock Jr, Robert McQueen


Much of the evaluative research on groupware in organisations so far has been preoccupied with the role of groupware as a new interaction media to replace or extend face-to-face communication in groups. It has focused on gains and losses from a group interaction point of view, typically disregarding the impact of other functions such as allowing public access to relevant historical and business process information concerning the organisation. This paper tries to bridge this gap with a focus on the support provided by groupware to business process improvement groups. This paper is based on a qualitative analysis of the effects of the introduction of an asynchronous groupware system into a service company based in Brazil. That analysis suggests that improvements on business redesign efficiency and effectiveness can be attained not only from asynchronous groupware support to group communication, but also from: l)Its support for public sharing of historical information about former business process improvement; and 2)Its support for providing a repository of information about business processes that could be targets for improvement. The paper is finalised with the proposal of an explanatory model, describing the relationship between the introduction of technology, its integration with a business process improvement meta-process, and its effects on the efficiency and effectiveness of that meta-process.


groupware; business process improvement; qualitative study; Brazil

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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