Productivity Challenges in Digital Transformation and its Implications for Workstream Collaboration Tools

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Del-Río-Ortega, Adela
Peña, Joaquín
Resinas, Manuel
Ruiz-Cortés, Antonio
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Abstract
Digital transformation has brought an unprecedented pace of change and a huge amount of information available for businesses. At the same time, it has also created a number of difficulties for knowledge workers that have to deal with increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environments. In this scenario, the use of workstream collaboration tools (WSC), such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, to manage this new way of working and to improve the productivity of knowledge workers is proliferating. However, the goals that these WSC tools need to achieve and the way to use them are not well established because of two reasons: (i) these new work environments pose a new set of challenges for working productively that have not been clearly characterised, and (ii) there is neither previous experience nor a strong research body that study them in conjunction to offer guidelines to design good solutions based on WSC tools. In this paper, we follow an inductive approach based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from 365 employees of 3 companies (immersed in VUCA environments and digitisation initiatives with WSC tools) to characterise the productivity challenges in these scenarios. The result is a set of 14 challenges that appear with different intensity in each company. A thorough study of the related literature shows that the implication of these challenges in WSC tools have been studied independently, but there is no single theory that covers all of them together. This paper, hence, helps to put them together.
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Design, Development, and Evaluation of Collaboration Technologies, collaborative tools, digital transformation, knowledge worker, productivity, workstream collaboration
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