Groups are increasingly utilizing collaborative technologies to facilitate distributed work processes. While these groups are assembled based upon the task knowledge possessed by their members, collaborative technology adoption decisions are often made at an organizational level, where the members’ knowledge of the technology is necessarily discounted. However, in this paper we argue that a group’s knowledge of collaborative technology will impact the manner in which the technology is appropriated. Further, the manner in which a group uses collaborative technology will impact its ability to unlock the task knowledge embedded in individual group members; a critical factor in determining group outcomes in distributed environments. In short, a group’s know-how regarding the collaborative technology can unlock its know-what regarding the task. We argue that focusing on task knowledge while ignoring technological knowledge will prevent organizations from fully leveraging group knowledge in virtual settings.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tcarte/8/