The Open UniversitySkip to content

How is New Organizational Knowledge Created in a Virtual Context? An Ethnographic Study

Baralou, Evangelia and Tsoukas, Haridimos (2015). How is New Organizational Knowledge Created in a Virtual Context? An Ethnographic Study. Organization Studies, 36(5) pp. 593–620.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Seeking to enhance our understanding of organizational knowledge creation in multimodal polysynchronous contexts, this paper empirically explores a project team, within a UK-based international company, concerned with the development of new software. Our aim is to extend current dialogical approaches to organizational knowledge creation, largely developed in the context of face-to-face communication, into virtual contexts of communication. Through close analysis of the ICT-mediated dialogical interactions between the members of a project team and the occasional face-to-face interactions between certain members of the project team and other organizational members, we show how knowledge creation emerges via three core dialogical processes: dialogues with real others, quasi-dialogues with invisible others, and quasi-dialogues with virtual artifacts. Exploring these processes in more depth, we further argue that the dialogical processes at hand are crucially shaped by team members actively working with the materiality of technology used, which enables them to: (a) mobilize multiple task-related voices when simultaneously interacting in multiple contexts; (b) alter the boundaries of communication to suit the demands of the task at hand; and (c) textualize the ongoing experience of interaction with others and artifacts.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Authors
ISSN: 0170-8406
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 50962
Depositing User: Evangelia Baralou
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 14:35
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 14:44
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU