Designing E-mail for Knowledge Management in Distributed Organizations

IGI Global
Publication Type:
Interaction in Communication Technologies and Virtual Learning Environments, 2010, 1st, pp. 26 - 37
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E-mail has become so ubiquitous that it has surpassed existing only as a tool of asynchronous communication. E-mail has contributed to the rise of the distributed organization that is widely dispersed across nodes and locations. Email is being used in diverse ways and for an increasing range of unintended purposes. This chapter charts the history of e-mail, from early investigations of handling e-mail overload, to a review of software applications designed to ameliorate unanticipated outcomes. It suggests that while e-mail has been appropriated for information and knowledge management, there has been minimal analysis of this beyond the individual. By presenting a case study of a distributed organization, detailing the process by which e-mail was leveraged for organizational knowledge through the design of an application that enabled visualization of e-mail data, this research shows e-mail technology can become a core repository of corporate knowledge.
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