Intranät – en ny arena för kommunikation och lärande

Detta är en avhandling från Department of Sociology, Lund University

Sammanfattning: During the 1990s, communication and learning attracted heightened attention in organizational contexts. Generally speaking, there is great faith in the significance of ICT for people’s learning. One form of technology which has had a great impact on Swedish organizations is the intranet. Within the course of a few years, intranets have been implemented in just over half of all Swedish organizations.

The aim of this dissertation is threefold. The first, introductory, aim is to provide a theoretical framework which shows the close relationship between communication and learning. It is hoped that this theoretical framework can contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between intranets and organizational learning. The second aim is to try to give a better understanding of how intranets are perceived and used in practice. The third aim is to study how intranets can be understood as a tool for information dissemination and learning in a knowledge-intensive company. The study is based on qualitative interviews with members of an organization at Ericsson Mobile Communications in Lund.

The information that is published on the intranet has given the members a chance to have better insight into and grasp of the organization and its processes. The increased and more accessible information on the intranet is also part of the new arena for learning offered by intranets. The pull model which follows with the use of intranets is something that was felt to be generally positive by those whom I interviewed. I have, however, found a number of obstacles which make it more difficult for members of the organization to assimilate the content on the intranet, which thereby impedes the prospects for organizational learning. What is often forgotten in the discussions of organizational learning and knowledge management is the need for the production of new knowledge, which require communication among the members. I have found that e-mail is the digital medium with clearly the most important function for communication and organizational learning within the company. A conclusion that I have drawn is that the digital media are primarily suitable for spreading information, but less suitable for the production of new knowledge, unless the users have the occasional opportunity to meet eye-to-eye. If the members of a community meet in person now and then, digital media can function as an important complement to other media in the continuous formation of knowledge.