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Evaluating Remote Collaborative Knowledge Work in Industry and Academia

Knowledge work is intellectual work that creates, refines, records, or elaborates concepts,ideas, representations and designs (Drucker, 1999; Davenport, 1998; Kelloway & Barling,2000; Collins, 1998).

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In a recent survey of over I 650 executives from 100 countries, 43% of the executives identified knowledge management as the number one business activity offering the greatest potential for productivity gains over the next 15 years (Economic Intelligent Unit, 2006). Collaborative knowledge work (CKW) that brings together different types of expertise is uniquely qualified to solve complex problems, and create innovative products and services. Increasingly remote collaborative knowledge work (RCKW) is essential for success in industry (Economist Intelligent Unit, 2006, 2007).

Evaluating RCKW is imperative for business success (Economic Intelligent Unit, 2006). However, measures are difficult to define (Drucker, 2001; Davenport et al, 2002). Mettanen (2005), as does all research on the evaluation of knowledge work, concludes that many questions remain open with regards to performance measurement in RCKW and recommends further research on the topic. New theories are needed to inform practice. Therefore the goal of this project is to develop a theory of evaluation measurement for RCKW. The theory will identify and describe evaluation measures and their context of use. The theory will provide managers in industry with new ways to evaluate RCK W conducted in their organizations, and ultimately increase the productivity and success of their organization. The results will further provide companies selling hardware and software systems to support collaboration, such as videoconferencing systems and collaborative work tools, with measures that can be used to benchmark their products and show potential customers the value their products may add to the customers' organizations. This project is a collaboration between BHS, AstraZeneca, STV Video and Ericsson.