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Implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations: Feasibility of a systematic


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DOI: 10.1108/TLO-11-2012-0069

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The Learning Organization
Implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations: feasibility of a systematic approach
Gavin James Baxter Thomas M. Connolly
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TLO
21,1 Implementing Web 2.0 tools in
organisations: feasibility of a
systematic approach
6
Gavin James Baxter and Thomas M. Connolly
University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK
Received 2 November 2012
Revised 11 February 2013
Accepted 12 March 2013
Abstract
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Purpose – The aim of this paper is to examine the subject area of implementing Web 2.0 tools in
organisations to identify from the literature common issues that must be addressed to assist
organisations in their approach towards introducing Web 2.0 tools in their workplace. Based on the
findings of the literature a Web 2.0 tools implementation model is presented.
Design/methodology/approach – A general scoping review of the literature will be conducted to
identify potential issues that might impact on the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations to
provide an overview of examples of empirical evidence that exists in this subject area with a view to
examining how to advance this particular field of research.
Findings – The findings of the scoping literature review indicate that while certain conceptual
models and frameworks exist on how to implement Web 2.0 tools in organisations there is a lack of
evidence to suggest that they have been empirically tested. The paper also notes that though
organisations are unique, based on the literature common features can be found regarding “best
practice” on how to introduce Web 2.0 tools in organisations.
Research limitations/implications – This paper does not present any findings based on an
empirical study involving the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations. The paper does
however provide scope for both academic and management practitioners to adopt and test the models
and frameworks identified in the literature review when implementing Web 2.0 tools in their
organisations.
Originality/value – The contribution to knowledge that this paper provides is that it reviews an
area where there is a lack of empirical evidence, namely, in the approaches that organisations can
adopt when implementing Web 2.0 tools. Based on the findings from the literature and through the
creation of a Web 2.0 tools implementation model, this paper provides practical guidance to
management practitioners who might find introducing Web 2.0 tools into the workplace a challenge.
Keywords Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0 implementation model, Wikis, Social networking sites, Web 2.0,
Web 2.0 best practice guidelines, Blogs
Paper type Literature review

1. Introduction
The internal use of Web 2.0 tools in organisations is gradually gaining acceptance as
evidenced by the increasing use of the term “Enterprise 2.0”. Several definitions of
Enterprise 2.0 exist in the academic literature. For example, McAfee (2009, p. 73)
defines Enterprise 2.0 as “...the use of emergent social software platforms by
organizations in pursuit of their goals”. In contrast, Dawson (2009, p. 10) extends his
The Learning Organization perception of Enterprise 2.0 further by stating that the term consists of two
Vol. 21 No. 1, 2014
pp. 6-25
fundamental components namely:
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0969-6474
(1) “The application of Web 2.0, mobile and other emerging technologies to
DOI 10.1108/TLO-11-2012-0069 enhance the performance of organizations”; and
(2) that Enterprise 2.0 is beneficial for “Establishing the organizational structures Implementing
and processes that will drive success in an intensely competitive connected
economy”.
Web 2.0 tools
The term Enterprise 2.0 refers to the use of Web 2.0 tools in organisations (Tuten,
2010). The transition from Web 1.0 where the use of the web was predominately static
to the advent of Web 2.0 that allows users through the adoption of Web 2.0 tools to 7
apply software such as wikis and blogs in a social capacity to collectively generate and
disseminate content online has presented new opportunities for organisations today.
For example, the increasing competitiveness of the knowledge economy and the
evolving approaches towards how organisations conduct their activities in the world of
commerce has meant that the use of Web 2.0 tools have a sound potential to allow
organisations to interactively communicate and engage with their supplier chain and
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provide their customers with a sense of empowerment (Bughin and Chui, 2010, Oliver,
2010).
However, it should also be noted that Web 2.0 tools are being applied within
organisations for the purposes of internal communication and knowledge management
among employees (Jackson et al., 2007; Standing and Kiniti, 2011). Despite this, there
appears to be an indication from the academic literature that there is a lack of empirical
evidence to confirm the benefits of applying Web 2.0 tools in organisations. For
example, this has been argued in the case of organisational blogging, with particular
reference to the internal use of blogs (Kaiser and Muller-Seitz, 2009, p. 6; Wattal et al.,
2009, p. 1). In contrast, there also appears to be a lack of empirical evidence detailing
barriers that organisations have experienced when using Web 2.0 tools. In addition, a
further area that appears to be unsubstantiated through a lack of empirical evidence is
the process and steps that organisations have taken when implementing Web 2.0 tools
in internal contexts. This area of research has an important contribution to knowledge
to make in the area of Web 2.0 tools and their adoption in an organisational
environment. For example, empirical evidence detailing the decisions made and
approaches undertaken by organisations when implementing Web 2.0 tools will assist
management practitioners to identify good practices from these experiences and apply
them to their own situations when adopting the use of Web 2.0 tools. Furthermore, new
scenarios encountered by management, in different industry disciplines, when tackling
the issue of introducing Web 2.0 tools to their workforce will serve to enhance the
contributions to knowledge in this area by providing alternative approaches and
solutions to addressing barriers to successful implementation.
The principal aim of this paper is to review the academic literature that identifies
salient issues associated with the problem area of the implementation of Web 2.0 tools
in organisations. Furthermore, the scoping literature review undertaken in this paper
has been performed in order to address the following research questions:
.
Is there a “one size fits all” approach towards introducing Web 2.0 tools in
organisations?
.
What factors affect the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations?
.
What framework(s) would be appropriate to evaluate the implementation of Web
2.0 tools in organisations?
The problem area examined in this paper is of importance to the discipline of
Enterprise 2.0 in that it explores a topic not commonly addressed in the academic
TLO literature namely, the steps taken and decision making processes adopted by
organisations when implementing Web 2.0 tools in their companies. This paper is
21,1 acknowledged to be a starting point for this research topic providing an overview of
proposed best practice guidelines and frameworks associated with introducing Web
2.0 tools in organisations. It is intended that based on the findings and research model
presented, management practitioners can apply and test the model in practice and
8 develop it further based on their own experiences of implementing Web 2.0 tools. In
addition, the subject matter of this paper provides a contribution to knowledge in the
area of Enterprise 2.0 in that it indicates that social or “soft” issues associated with
implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations are equally as important as technical
considerations.
The following sections of this paper are organised as follows. Previous research
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providing empirical evidence on the use of Web 2.0 tools in organisations is examined.
Next, current guidelines and frameworks designed to assist in the implementation of
Web 2.0 tools in organisations are assessed to identify common features of “best
practice” and important prerequisites organisations should consider when introducing
Web 2.0 tools into their organisations. Finally, based on the findings from the literature
on implementing Web 2.0 tools, a Web 2.0 tools implementation model is proposed and
conclusions and future directions are also discussed in relation to this research area.

2. Previous research
Though there appears to be a lack of empirical evidence surrounding the application of
Web 2.0 tools in organisations it should be acknowledged that research into the uses of
Web 2.0 tools in enterprises is progressively increasing. However, despite this, it
should be noted that the majority of studies seem to focus on the context of use of the
Web 2.0 tools as opposed to how and why the Web 2.0 tools were implemented. This
section of the paper will provide an overview of some examples of empirical work of
Web 2.0 tools being applied in organisations with a view towards identifying common
issues and themes based on the findings of the papers that will assist towards
signifying certain factors that management practitioners should consider when
implementing Web 2.0 tools into their organisations. It should however be
acknowledged that the papers reviewed are in no way exhaustive. In addition, it
should be further noted that while there are a wealth of Web 2.0 tools that have the
potential to impact on the way in which companies manage projects, communicate and
share knowledge, (for example, Zoho, Google Docs and Twitter), the Web 2.0 tools
reviewed in this paper, namely, wikis, blogs and social networking sites are done so
because at the time of writing they were considered to be most prevalent in terms of
being used in organisations based on the scoping study of the literature.

2.1 Wiki use in organisations


One particular Web 2.0 tool that appears to be gaining steady recognition and use in
organisations are wikis. For example, it has been argued in the academic literature that
wikis are applicable to adopt in certain organisations due to the fact that most
companies are reliant on managing and sharing knowledge and often support team
working activities (Kosonen and Kianto, 2009, pp. 24-25; Yates et al., 2010, p. 543).
Several definitions of wikis exist in the academic literature but a wiki can be defined as:
. . . a web site that promotes the collaborative creation of content. Wiki pages can be edited by Implementing
anyone at anytime. Informational content can be created and easily organized within the wiki
environment and then reorganized as required (Stephens, 2009, p.4). Web 2.0 tools
For example, Holtzblatt et al. (2010) undertook an exploratory study to investigate
whether wikis could be applied effectively to support knowledge sharing within a
non-profit organisation primarily engaged in scientific and engineering work.
Employing the use of unstructured and open-ended interviews the study uncovered 9
various factors that prohibit the usage of wikis for knowledge sharing namely: a
reluctance to share information on the wikis among colleagues due to issues of
information sensitivity; an unwillingness to share work that is unfinished; and
concerns about the openness of information on the wikis. The study also concluded
that to ensure successful adoption of wikis organisations should consider factors such
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as incentive structures to entice staff to use the wikis in addition to authoring clearer
guidelines and policies defining the scope and use of the wikis.
Another empirical study undertaken by Stocker and Tochtermann (2009) involved a
multiple-case study in three Austrian organisations that were using wikis to support
the process of intra-organisational knowledge transfer. Through conducting
interviews and issuing surveys, it was identified that the majority of employees in
the respective organisations considered that the wikis were beneficial for the
dissemination and accessing of knowledge. One interesting point of note derived from
the research was that although all three wikis investigated in the studies were
implemented via a top-down approach, the content created on the wikis mostly
occurred from the bottom up. In contrast, another study investigating the use of wikis
conducted an extensive survey with about 1,000 German SMEs across varying
disciplines (Stieglitz and Dang-Xuan, 2011). In addition to identifying benefits of using
wikis for the sharing and documentation of knowledge the study also found that there
are several reasons why SMEs might appear unenthusiastic to adopt wikis; for
example, the benefits of wiki use were not evident to employees; the structure of size of
some of the SMEs were too small for the use of Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis;
staff had a preference for using existing IT technologies as opposed to wikis and that
there was a lack of motivation among employees to engage with wikis. In addition, it
was considered by certain SMEs that the implementation of wikis would be too
expensive and that they lacked the appropriate IT infrastructure to support the use of
wikis in their organisations.
A qualitative study performed by Grudin and Poole (2010) investigated factors
associated with successful wiki deployment in three large organisations from sectors
that included science, engineering and technology. Through the use of interviews, the
study identified common themes in relation to wiki adoption, namely: that there can be
on occasion different expectations from management and staff as to what their visions
are on how a wiki should be best applied in the workplace; conflict among staff
members on how content is organised on wikis and how to introduce wikis into the
workplace against potential barriers of an existing information ecology and corporate
culture. In contrast, an exploratory study undertaken by Mansour et al. (2011)
identified factors that impacted on the use of a wiki as a tool for sharing knowledge
and aiding in its collaboration within communities in organisations. The research
occurred in a large multinational contracting organisation, consisting of employees
who were regularly engaged in projects of a geographically dispersed nature. The wiki
employed by the organisation consisted of five distinct communities of practice.
TLO Findings of the study revealed that the majority of the users of the wiki found it to be
beneficial for collectively formulating and disseminating knowledge. However, a
21,1 salient finding of the study was the openness of the wiki that served to have a dual
impact on staff members’ attitudes and perceptions towards using the wiki in their
workplace. For example, in addition to the wiki serving as a beneficial knowledge
management tool among the communities of practice, some staff members lacked
10 confidence in sharing their knowledge to a wider audience in addition to accepting
criticism or comments from colleagues regarding their contributions. Furthermore,
certain staff members were not comfortable to comment on contributions made by
senior management on the wiki.

2.2 Use of social networking sites in organisations


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In addition to the organisational research on wiki use, some empirical research has
been undertaken on why some organisations have adopted the use of social networking
sites (SnS) at work.
. . . social network sites [are] web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a
public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with
whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those
made by others within the system (Boyd and Ellison, 2007, p. 211).
For example, DiMicco et al. (2008) analysed the use of an internal social network site
known as Beehive within IBM. From usage analysis, key findings from the study
indicated that staff used the site for relationship building, connecting on a social level
and sharing information with colleagues whom they would like to know better in the
organisation. A surprising finding from the study was that in comparison to the issue
of privacy concerns related to the use of social networking sites on the internet, this
matter was not a major concern within the organisation. One potential reason for this
may have been the fact that the social networking site, Beehive, was situated behind
IBM’s firewall. In a different study, Skeels and Grudin (2009) adopted a mixed methods
approach to investigate the use of Facebook and LinkedIn in the workplace. The
research was conducted in Microsoft, an organisation often regarded as an early
adopter of Web 2.0 technologies. The study examined staff behaviours and attitudes
towards the use of these types of technologies. Findings revealed that some CEOs
considered the use of these types of social networking sites as being inappropriate
communication tools for the workplace where problems could arise with staff
neglecting the difference between their personal and professional status in the
workplace resulting a lack of hierarchy, status and power boundaries at work.

2.3 Blog use in organisations


Another Web 2.0 tool that is gaining measured recognition as a medium for supporting
the process of internal communication and knowledge sharing in organisations are
blogs (Baxter and Connolly, 2013). Several definitions of blogs exist in the academic
literature. According to Kosonen et al., (2007, p. 440) blogs are:
. . . web pages that incorporate regular posts about a particular topic, current events or the
expression of personal thoughts. They are typically maintained individually, but also allow
multiperson updates. Features such as archival, search and categorisation capabilities help in
organising and retrieving content.
At present, empirical research into the internal uses of blogs within organisations is an Implementing
area that requires further investigation (Lockwood and Dennis, 2008), however, Web 2.0 tools
research into organisational blog use is slowly increasing. For example, an empirical
study undertaken by Stocker and Tochtermann (2008) assessed the use of an internal
corporate blog in an ICT SME for the purposes of knowledge management. The study
explored the use of an internal blog by the manager of the organisation to disseminate
knowledge to staff members. Utilising the use of surveys, the study revealed some 11
interesting findings namely that:
.
communicating the benefits of a blog in an organisation is an important
prerequisite for its success;
.
employees in an organisation will use a blog if the content included on it is
relevant to their work; and
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.
blogs will be used more by employees if they cannot obtain relevant knowledge
from other types of communication channels.

In a different study, Kosonen et al. (2007) assessed the use of blogs for internal
communication in a large engineering organisation and explored factors that might
impact on the use of internal blogs in corporate environments. In relation to the issue of
introducing blogs in organisations the study identified that the factors of corporate
climate and culture affect the successful implementation of blogs.

2.4 Adoption of Web 2.0 tools in organisations: common issues


The empirical studies presented above though not exhaustive do identify some mutual
factors that can impact on organisations introducing Web 2.0 tools into their corporate
culture. For example, Stieglitz and Dang-Xuan’s (2011) study indicated that the
benefits of using a wiki were not initially evident to staff who had a preference for
using more familiar and accustomed types of knowledge sharing mediums in their
organisation. In comparison, Stocker and Tochhtermann’s (2008) blog study revealed
the importance of communicating the benefits of using Web 2.0 tools in the workplace
to staff that have never been exposed to them before. The barrier of staffs’ apparent
unwillingness to share information among colleagues by contributing content on a
Web 2.0 tool was a theme found in the studies performed by Holtzblatt et al. (2010) and
Mansour et al. (2011). In fact, it was the openness of the technology, in this case wikis,
that contributed to staff possessing a lack of confidence in sharing knowledge to a
wider audience in the workplace. In addition to communicating the benefits of using
Web 2.0 tools to staff, it is important that management ensure that there is adequate
infrastructural support (Stieglitz and Dang-Xuan, 2011) to ease adoption and to reflect
on their existing corporate climate and culture (Grudin and Poole, 2010; Kosonen et al.,
2007) to assess whether the use of Web 2.0 technologies are an appropriate fit with the
mission statements of their organisation. To encourage staff to engage with Web 2.0
technologies at work it is important that incentive mechanisms and guideline policies
are put in place (Holtzblatt et al., 2010) and that everyone in the organisation has a
shared vision in relation to how the technology will be used (Grudin and Poole, 2010;
Skeels and Grudin, 2009) otherwise adoption and continued use will not prove to be
successful.
TLO 3. Current Web 2.0 best practice guidelines and frameworks
21,1 Despite there being few empirical studies that have fully explored the issues that
impact on the adoption of Web 2.0 tools from an organisational perspective, guidelines
and frameworks relating to best practice when introducing technological initiatives
into organisations have been proposed in the academic literature. Berge and Giles
(2006) propose a framework for implementing and maintaining e-learning in the
12 workplace. This framework, illustrated in Figure 1, is divided into three layers. The
first layer begins with the “strategic plan” phase, which is the foundational building
block of the framework. The next two building blocks of the framework are the
organisational support processes and the e-learning and knowledge management
system. The first layer emphasises the importance of strategic planning whereby the
organisation has to evaluate its internal and external environment to assist in
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formulating its mission and vision statements taking steps to transform itself into a
learning organisation. A learning organisation “. . .is a place where employees excel at
creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge” (Garvin et al., 2008, p. 110). Once the
strategic planning phase has been undertaken, the organisation is only able to exploit
the use of new technology through guidance from senior management and through the
organisation’s ability to effectively undertake the process of change management, as
indicated in the “organisational elements” building block of the framework. When the
organisation has considered and implemented its leadership, change management and
technology infrastructure strategies to implement e-learning in the workplace it then
has to decide on the roles and competencies of staff to assist in sustaining the
e-learning process in the organisation, the requirements and design of the e-learning
system and justifying e-learning outcomes to business goals. These implementation
and sustainability factors are denoted in the framework under the heading “E-learning
program elements”.

Figure 1.
Framework for facilitating
and maintaining
e-learning in the
workplace
In contrast to the implementation of e-learning in organisations, Kussmaul and Jack Implementing
(2009, pp. 153-155) investigate how wikis can be used for knowledge management and
have developed best practice guidelines for developing and installing wiki-based
Web 2.0 tools
knowledge management systems for project use in organisations. Some of their key
recommendations include:
.
recognise whether the project is being initiated top-down or bottom-up;
.
assess the organisational culture; 13
.
identify an appropriate pilot project;
.
develop bottom-up support; and
.
develop top-down support.
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Though Kussmaul and Jack list other guidelines more applicable to wikis these key
points extracted from their list of best practices for facilitating wiki-based KM projects
emphasise the necessity for cultural awareness and support when implementing
technology initiatives in organisations.
Bernal (2010, p. 232) has developed a model that provides guidance to industry
practitioners about how best to implement a social networking strategy in a corporate
setting. The technical factors associated with Bernal’s model refers to choosing the
products that are best suited for the organisation to implement as well as reviewing the
organisation’s legacy systems to assess compatibility issues. Functional factors relate
to evaluating the job functions and roles of staff to assess whether the introduction of
the technology is applicable to their job role. The functional aspect of the model also
involves considering how staff are going to access the technology. Cultural factors are,
according to Bernal, the most significant to consider when implementing a social
networking strategy. This involves assessing the collaborative atmosphere in the
organisation and the culture among individuals and teams in the company. The three
types of factors (cultural, technical and functional) illustrated in the diagram are
interrelated with each factor being of equal importance to address potential barriers to
the implementation of a social networking strategy in an organisation.
In contrast, Cook (2008, p. 103) examines the merits of both bottom-up and top-down
approaches to Web 2.0 adoption in organisations, as summarised in Table I. The
differences between bottom-up and top-down strategies are that bottom-up methods
are dependent on the software being quickly adopted by key staff members who

Bottom up Top down

Advantages Encourages a collaborative culture. The message to staff can be “controlled”.


Peer recommendation more credible. Enforces the use of strategically
The most useful systems actually get important systems.
used Essential for difficult to use software with
high investment/training requirements
Disadvantages Behaviours may develop that suit the Often falls on deaf ears. Table I.
individual rather than the company. Requires constant reinforcement from Advantages and
Adoption happens at its own pace superiors disadvantages of
bottom-up and top-down
Source: Cook (2008, p. 103) approaches
TLO consider it to be useful. They then inform other staff members of the benefits who in
turn do so to their colleagues thereby facilitating the adoption of the software in an
21,1 organic and social manner. The opposite occurs with a top-down approach which is
reliant on management informing staff that the use of such software has become part
of company policy and its use is facilitated in a planned and measured way. Cook
(2008) also discusses a Web 2.0 implementation approach suggested by Pollard (2007)
14 who argues that champions in the organisation should be authorised to facilitate the
early adoption of social software among staff in the organisation. This approach,
depicted in Figure 2, is referred to as the “Web 2.0 collaboration experimentation
methodology” and involves assigned champions in an organisation meeting together to
educate fellow champions with the tools, applications and the current state of the
organisation in addition to brainstorming sessions to experiment on how best to apply
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the technology in the organisation. The Web 2.0 approach suggested by Pollard (2007)

Figure 2.
Web 2.0 collaboration
experimentation
methodology
advocates facilitating and supporting the introduction and subsequent use of Web 2.0 Implementing
technology in an organisation from the grass-roots level. For example, it is suggested Web 2.0 tools
that instead of senior management organising groups of product champions they
should self-organise with the aim of pushing the cause of the technology to encourage
users to use it, thereby facilitating critical mass. Product champions, according to
Pollard (2007), consists of three groups: innovative individuals who are forward
thinking, referred to as the organisation’s “thought leaders”, individuals already 15
familiar and currently active in the use of social software and thirdly staff members
who are just starting to use Web 2.0 technology for the first time. The “Web 2.0
collaboration experimentation methodology” must meet five essential criteria to be
successful:
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(1) use of the technology must be straightforward for individuals;


(2) use of the technology must be facilitated through the form of relationships;
(3) the technology must be easily integrated with the current communication tools
and processes used in the organisation;
(4) the technology can be used by new users without any training; and
(5) it must have personal value to the individual.

Despite the shortage of Web 2.0 implementation frameworks several guidelines have
been proposed to provide practical and pragmatic advice to practitioners who may be
unsure of how best to maximise the use of Web 2.0 in their organisations as well as
how to facilitate its implementation. Chui et al. (2009, pp. 4-10) identify six critical
factors with practical advice for management on how to implement Web 2.0
technologies, namely:
(1) management taking an active role in facilitating the process of change by
becoming role models and leading through informal channels;
(2) ensuring that the use of the technology is not dictated from above but that its
use is dictated by the end-users through a process of experimentation;
(3) ensuring that the use of the Web 2.0 technologies are integrated into the
end-users’ routines and workflow;
(4) providing a reward scheme for enthusiasm and relevancy of contributions;
(5) encouraging users who can facilitate critical mass for participation with the
technology; and
(6) maintaining a suitable balance of freedom-of-use of the technology with the
establishment of reasonable policies of use.

Dawson (2009, p. 40) presents an Enterprise 2.0 implementation framework with four
key iterative phases, namely:
(1) understand drivers;
(2) create enabling frameworks;
(3) support initiatives; and
(4) drive adoption and value.
TLO The first phase of framework involves assessing the current climate of the organisation
in terms of how it currently engages in internal and external collaboration activities,
21,1 identifying the variables that might impact on the perceived benefits and barriers of
adopting Web 2.0 tools in an organisation. For example, the importance of reflecting on
an organisation’s size, the industry the organisation is associated with, the
organisation’s culture and the suitability of its current legacy systems are deemed to
16 be important factors to consider when assessing an organisation’s compatibility for
adopting Web 2.0 tools. The concept of creating enabling frameworks refers to defining
a vision for the use of Web 2.0 tools in the organisation in addition to creating a
governance framework that involves defining the scope and use of the Web 2.0 tools;
identifying who the users of the technology will be, what the expected outcomes and
benefits of use are as well as assessing any risks or concerns about how the use of the
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technology might impact on the organisation and staff. In addition, at this stage of the
implementation framework Dawson (2009) suggests that it is important to present a
business case outlining the benefits of implementing Web 2.0 tools in the organisation.
Particular issues to include in the business case include: the business drivers behind
the initiative, costs of implementation and a forecast of uptake of use of the Web 2.0
tools by staff. At this stage of the implementation, it is also important to create and
establish policies relating to appropriate use of the Web 2.0 tools by staff within the
organisation. The third stage, support initiatives, involves implementing the required
software to run pilot projects on its use, identifying “champions” within the
organisation who will support the use of the technology and assist staff with queries
related to its use. At this stage of the implementation framework it is also considered
important to obtain the backing of management behind the initiative. The final phase
of the framework, drive adoption and value, relates to monitoring the outcome of the
pilots, identifying barriers towards the use of the Web 2.0 tools, addressing them in
addition to identifying success stories of staff adoption with a view to promoting this
within a programme of cultural change.
McAfee (2009) provides a list of six “organisational strategies” to overcome the
challenges of successful social software adoption in organisations. According to
McAfee being aware of these particular challenges helps to devise an effective strategy
for tackling them. The steps proposed by McAfee are outlined in Table II and are
considered to be beneficial to facilitate the process of “Enterprise 2.0”. According to
McAfee, the first step for successfully implementing Web 2.0 in an organisation should
involve staff focusing on why the Web 2.0 initiative is being implemented in the
organisation. Factors to consider include deciding on what the technology is to be used
for and how it aligns with the organisation’s overall goals and strategy. For example, is
the introduction of the new technology designed to enhance group work among
colleagues, disseminate information or expertise throughout the organisation or to
facilitate social networking within and outwith the organisation? The steps advocated
by McAfee encompass the process of change management. For example, factors to
address when introducing technological changes in an organisation include reviewing
what technologies are currently used by various departments and teams but more
significantly how to integrate these technologies as a standardised channel in the
workplace. As with the views of Pollard (2007), McAfee emphasises the importance of
communicating and educating the benefits of using the new technology through the
assistance of early adopters of the technology or product champions. It can therefore be
argued that there are several factors that influence the process of transformation
Implementing
Steps to implement Web 2.0 Cultural issues to consider
Web 2.0 tools
1. Formation of consensus about objectives of Web Define role for the software: is its use to facilitate
2.0 use group work? Facilitate networking in the
organisation? Capture collective intelligence?
2. Facilitation of behavioural and technological What technologies are currently part of the
change towards social software status quo for each worker? How to achieve a 17
partial shift away from their core use?
3. Communicate and educate intended users of the Early adopters of the technology must educate
new tools colleagues with management also contributing
in this communication process
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4. Move emerging social software platforms into Decree that teams use group editing tools for
the work flow report writing? All departments or business
units to maintain blogs about their work?
5. Measure the progress of initiative not return of Collect evidence of success of the pilot to
investment communicate outcomes to participants; use to
convince decision makers that the effort is worth
sustaining
6. Provide incentives that will encourage Contributions to be made as part of employee’s
participation and contribution formal job description? Provide ways to Table II.
demonstrate contributions by staff are valued Summary of McAfee’s
“Roadmap for Enterprise
Source: McAfee (2009, pp. 179-194) 2.0” success

initiatives surrounding technological change particularly soft issues such as culture,


motivation and leadership.
Kosonen et al. (2008, p. 772) developed a model related to the social and
organisational dimensions and critical factors required to successfully implement
internal knowledge blogs. This model is illustrated in Figure 3 and has been
empirically validated in a mini case study within a large ICT company. The key
finding that was obtained from this study is that the internal knowledge blogs were
used by a core group of organisational members who were already accustomed to
blogging and who were therefore able to facilitate the use of their blogs from a
bottom-up approach. The critical mass of users was obtained in the organisation as a
result of this due to word of mouth and the employees trusting one another. This
resulted in an increase in motivation and ease of implementation of the blogs. The
study further indicated that the bottom-up approach adopted by staff was successful
by providing them with a sense of empowerment to initiate the blogging process in the
organisation. The study also indicated the importance of facilitating an organisational
culture that is compatible with the principles of Web 2.0 where organisational
members have a common objective in its use through a shared community and
bonding of trust.
In contrast to the model proposed by Kosonen et al. (2008), Zhao and Kemp (2012,
p. 240) present a Web 2.0-based workplace learning and training model. Though the
model specifically relates to and addresses Web 2.0-based issues to facilitate informal
learning within communities of practice (CoPs) in the workplace the model also
incorporates important aspects such as organisational factors but more specifically
TLO
21,1

18
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Figure 3.
Critical factors in the
application of internal
knowledge blogs

“soft side” issues that require careful consideration by management and trainers to
maximise the benefits of the use of Web 2.0 tools to support informal learning in the
workplace. Key to the success of sustaining the process of informal learning in the
workplace presented in the model include the salient element of organisational support
in the form of a conducive learning culture and policies and guidelines established to
promote the use of Web 2.0 tools to aid the process of organisational learning and
development.

3.1 Impact of Web 2.0 on Security 2.0


One important consideration, not directly acknowledged in the guidelines and
frameworks reviewed in the previous section that will influence an organisation’s
implementation strategy of Web 2.0 applications is the concept known as “Security 2.0”
(Davidson and Yoran, 2007). The openness and transparency of Web 2.0 sites provide a
greater risk to most organisations due to the fact that users can upload content in
addition to modifying content through scripting that has the potentiality to contain
malware (Lawton, 2007, p. 13). For example, because Web 2.0 applications are often
dependent on client-side controls and on security matters related to browsers it is
important for organisations to devise appropriate security models and policies of use
that influence security issues associated with the guidelines of use for Web 2.0 tools.
Prior to implementation, factors that should be reflected on to address security
concerns associated with the internal use of Web 2.0 tools might include:
.
technological safeguards such as the use of content filters;
.
running of anti-malware software;
.
establishment of policies restricting use;
.
understanding the risk of using certain Web 2.0 tools; and
.
educating users about these risks (Rudman, 2010, pp. 221-224).
The concept of Security 2.0 is therefore a relevant precondition for organisations to Implementing
consider prior to introducing Web 2.0 tools as such security factors affect the
implementation both from the employee and management perspective.
Web 2.0 tools

4. Web 2.0 tools implementation model


One of the main aims of this paper is to assess the feasibility of being able to undertake
a systematic approach to implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations regardless of 19
industry type or size. Based on the review of the literature presented common features
relating to “best practice” for introducing Web 2.0 tools into organisations can be
identified. To aid and assist management practitioners in this respect we propose a
Web 2.0 tools implementation model illustrated in Figure 4. The model is an extension
of the blog implementation model developed by Baxter et al. (2010), p. 523). The Web
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2.0 tools implementation model that has been formulated from the literature is
significant in that it has the potential to be transferable and generically applied in
different organisational contexts. In addition, the creation of this model offers a
contribution to knowledge in the area of implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations

Figure 4.
Web 2.0 tools
implementation model
TLO because it provides both management and academic practitioners with a set of criteria
21,1 to test when undertaking empirical work in this subject area which can be
subsequently developed from future case studies. In doing so, research of this nature
will assist to advance the contribution to knowledge towards confirming whether there
is a “one size fits all” approach to introducing Web 2.0 tools in organisations in
addition to further identifying the factors that affect the implementation of Web 2.0
20 tools in organisations.
There are four distinct but interrelated phases to the model namely:
(1) planning;
(2) support;
(3) development; and
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(4) implementation.

These stages of the model are iterative in that each step feeds into and supports the
other and that a certain action may have to be repeated such as the monitoring the use
of the Web 2.0 tools by staff in terms of their effectiveness in the workplace. The
planning stage of the model relates to an important phase that all organisations must
undertake when introducing Web 2.0 tools into the workplace. For example, this
involves assessing the internal infrastructure of the organisation in terms of whether
its organisational culture, communication and knowledge management infrastructures
can support the adoption of Web 2.0 technology. In addition, it can be argued that the
planning segment of the model is one of the most crucial stages of the implementation
process because it involves the organisation reflecting on the salient issues regarding
why they are adopting the Web 2.0 tools as well as identifying how these tools can
match their organisational requirements, assist to achieve their business goals and be
compatible with their organisational culture.
Furthermore, the support stage of the model is of equal importance where it is
imperative to ensure that both staff and management in the organisation are fully
behind the Web 2.0 initiative. Of particular relevance is the undertaking of the process
of change management where senior management must assume a lead role in
reassuring their workforce about the positive aspects of adopting Web 2.0 tools in their
department in addition to taking appropriate steps on how to gradually introduce this
cultural change into their business environment. Staff should therefore be educated on
the value of using Web 2.0 tools, their benefits and barriers articulated to them,
possibly through the assignment of a product champion. The success of the
organisations’ change management strategy in addition to the assigning of a product
champion will assist towards establishing the required level of critical mass of the Web
2.0 tools. This is an important consideration for both the support and implementation
phases of the model.
Following on from this phase, the development stage of the model relates to more
practical issues such as: choosing the type of Web 2.0 platform or software that might
be compatible with the organisation’s existing legacy systems in addition to
establishing policies and guidelines for the use of the software to be complied with by
management and staff. This step of the model also involves the key task of piloting the
Web 2.0 tools to evaluate their success for example in a small project team prior to
stream lining the use of the software to a wider audience across the organisation.
The final stage of the model, the implementation phase, consists of standardising Implementing
the use of the Web 2.0 tools as a formalised channel in the workplace and to ensure that
staff remain engaged in the use of the technology through a process of promoting the
Web 2.0 tools
benefits of the Web 2.0 tools. Monitoring the success of the Web 2.0 technology is also
important at this stage as any unforeseen barriers that require to be addressed will feed
back to the planning phase of the model and hence facilitate the cyclical nature of the
model. However, in addition to tackling barriers towards the use of the Web 2.0 tools 21
by staff it is imperative that the organisation promotes any success stories regarding
the use of the Web 2.0 tools within its departments or by specific individuals in the
organisation as this will aid the process of cultural change and the transition towards
becoming an “Enterprise 2.0” organisation. One of the central outputs of the model
involves management measuring the success of the Web 2.0 tools against
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organisational performance, resulting from knowledge sharing and learning between


staff. It is important that the organisation digests and interprets this knowledge,
channelling it through the organisation subsequently modifying its behaviour towards
becoming a learning organisation.

5. Conclusion
This paper has explored the problem area of implementing Web 2.0 tools in
organisations to identify from the literature common issues that must be addressed by
organisations when introducing these types of tools into the workplace.
In addition, the scoping literature review presented in this paper set out to examine
three research questions related to the problem area of implementing Web 2.0 tools in
organisations. The following reflections on each research question will now be
discussed.

5.1 Is there a “one size fits all” approach towards introducing Web 2.0 tools in
organisations?
It is important to acknowledge that though all organisations are predominately unique
in terms of size, industry discipline and organisational culture, lessons can be learnt
and commonalities derived from empirical studies that have performed research on the
context surrounding the use of Web 2.0 tools in organisations in addition to drawing
guidance from the models and frameworks reviewed in this paper. These models and
frameworks can be applied by management practitioners towards implementing Web
2.0 tools for internal use among employees at work. Through their testing and
subsequent enhancement, a greater contribution to knowledge can be provided in this
area offering management practitioners with a greater degree of choice on what type of
framework or model best suits their needs regarding the implementation of Web 2.0
tools. The review of the empirical studies illustrating the use of Web 2.0 tools in
organisations outlined in section two indicate that though the internal infrastructure
and culture of most organisations differ, there are common aspects that affect an
organisation’s strategy towards how it introduces Web 2.0 technology to its employees,
namely: organisational, technical and societal (Kosonen et al., 2008, p. 772; Bernal, 2010,
p. 232). Furthermore, while it can also be argued that most organisations might have
different mission statements affecting why they are adopting the use of Web 2.0 tools,
the empirical studies and frameworks reviewed in this paper accentuate the
importance of ensuring a common vision between management and employees on how
TLO and why the Web 2.0 technology should be used in the organisation (e.g. Grudin and
Poole, 2010, pp. 4-5).
21,1
5.2 What factors affect the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations?
The scoping literature review undertaken in this paper indicates that the primary
barriers that impact on the implementation of Web 2.0 tools in organisations are
22 predominately cultural and societal (e.g. Holtzblatt et al., 2010, pp. 4666-4671). The role
and support of management is therefore crucial towards guiding the process of change
management towards enabling a smooth transition in the introduction and subsequent
use of Web 2.0 technologies in an organisation. In addition, in their Web 2.0-based
workplace learning and training model Zhao and Kemp (2012, p. 240) stress the
importance not only of management support but support from the organisation as a
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whole because doing so will aid the gradual process of organisational learning and
development through the use of Web 2.0 tools. Support of this nature will assist to
change the views and opinions of staff who might initially prove to be resistant to
change towards the way in which they work and who have yet to visualise the benefits
of adopting Web 2.0 tools in the workplace.

5.3 What framework(s) would be appropriate to evaluate the implementation of Web 2.0
tools in organisations?
One of the aims of this paper was to identify and examine existing Web 2.0 tools
implementation frameworks that have been currently proposed in the literature.
Several models and frameworks were reviewed that include important cultural,
technical and organisational elements for management practitioners to reflect on and
address when introducing Web 2.0 tools into their organisations. It should be noted
that certain models and frameworks might only be applicable to certain types of
organisations. However the models and frameworks reviewed in this paper can be
adapted and modified by management according to their own circumstances when
undertaking the implementation process of Web 2.0 tools. Moreover, additional
empirical studies of this nature can provide further contributions to knowledge to
address this problem area and inform the wider academic and management
community about how potential implementation barriers were overcome and resolved.

5.4 Significance of Web 2.0 tools implementation model


The Web 2.0 tools implementation model presented in this paper provides an
important contribution to knowledge towards tackling the problem area of how to
introduce Web 2.0 tools in organisations. There are two primary reasons for this. First,
informed from a review of the literature, a Web 2.0 tools implementation model has
been created that accommodates the salient factors that an organisation must reflect on
and address in order to successfully introduce Web 2.0 tools into the workplace.
Secondly, the model illustrated in this paper is viewed as a starting point for research
into this area, to allow both management and academic practitioners to expand, test
and enhance the model based on future real-life case studies that tackle the problem
area of implementing of Web 2.0 tools in an organisation.

5.5 Transferibility of findings


The Web 2.0 tools implementation model has implications for both research and
practice. From a research perspective, academic practitioners can test the validity of
the model in different organisational contexts to assess whether its various Implementing
components are required to aid the transition of Web 2.0 implementation in
organisations or whether new elements need to be incorporated into the model that can
Web 2.0 tools
be of generic use to all organisations. When viewed from the perspective of practice,
the model presented in this paper can be continued to be developed and enhanced
through being applied in different organisational contexts.
23
5.6 Limitations of the research and future directions
It should however be acknowledged that while this paper does not provide any
empirical evidence it does present an avenue for future research in that the Web 2.0
implementation model can be refined, tested and modified in different industry
contexts. The empirical evidence generated from future research studies through the
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use of the model will continue to inform and increase the contribution to knowledge in
this area providing incremental increases on how to tackle the problem area of
implementing Web 2.0 tools in organisations.

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About the authors


Dr Gavin James Baxter is a lecturer in Games Technology in the School of Computing at the
University of the West of Scotland. His research focuses on the implementation of Web 2.0
technologies in organisations for the purposes of organisational learning. His other research
areas include: the applicability of blogs as communication and knowledge sharing tools in
organisational project-based environments. Gavin James Baxter is the corresponding author and
can be contacted at: gj_baxter@hotmail.com
Thomas M. Connolly is a Professor in the School of Computing at the University of the West
of Scotland and Chair of the ICT in Education (ICTE) inter-disciplinary Research Group. He is
also Director of the Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies. His specialisms are online
learning, games-based learning, and database systems.

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