Information Technology and Management

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 31–45 | Cite as

Enabling information sharing within organizations

  • Anitesh Barua
  • Suryanarayanan Ravindran
  • Andrew B. Whinston


Organizations which have invested heavily in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, intranets and Enterprise Information Portals (EIP) with standardized workflows, data definitions and a common data repository, have provided the technlogical capability to their workgroups to share information at the enterprise level. However, the responsibility of populating the repository with relevant and high quality data required for customized data analyses is spread across workgroups associated with specific business processes. In an information interdependent setting, factors such as short-term organizational focus and the lack of uniformity in information management skills across workgroups can act as impediments to information sharing. Using an analytical model of information exchange between two workgroups, we study the impact of measures (e.g., creating a perception of continuity and persistence in interactions, benefit sharing, etc.) on the performance of the workgroups and the organization. The model considers a setting we describe as information complementarity, where the payoff to a workgroup depends not only on the quality of its own information, but also on that of the information provided by other workgroups. We show how a long-term vision combined with homogeneity in information management capabilities across workgroups can lead to organizationally desirable levels of information exchange, and how benefit sharing can either help or hurt individual and organizational information exchange outcomes under different circumstances. Our analysis highlights the need for appropriate organizational enablers to realize the benefits of enterprise systems and related applications.


Cross-functional workgroups Information complementarity Information sharing Organizational outlook Benefit sharing Information equity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anitesh Barua
    • 1
  • Suryanarayanan Ravindran
    • 2
  • Andrew B. Whinston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of IROM, McCombs School of BusinessThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Information Systems, W. P. Carey School of BusinesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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