Antecedentes del comportamiento colaborativo en la empresa: el caso de los blogs corporativos

Pedro Fernández-Cardador, Ángel F. Agudo-Peregrina, Ángel Hernández-García

Resumen


La implementación exitosa de herramientas colaborativas en las empresas exige de los empleados un comportamiento colaborativo adecuado. Este trabajo presenta una caracterización del comportamiento colaborativo a través del uso de blogs corporativos, identificando sus antecedentes y analizando la influencia relativa de éstos en el comportamiento colaborativo de 86 empleados del departamento de Sistemas de Información de una gran empresa industrial localizada en España. Los resultados indican que entre los antecedentes identificados, el altruismo, los objetivos comunes y la confianza mutua predicen positivamente el comportamiento colaborativo, mientras que el sentido de pertenencia a una comunidad, la reputación y la reciprocidad no lo hacen.

Palabras clave
: comportamiento colaborativo, trabajo en equipo, colaboración, blogs.


Antecedents of collaborative behavior in companies: an analysis of the use of corporate blogs

Abstract: Nowadays, collaboration is the basis of knowledge sharing and creation for companies, and a driver for change and improvement. In order to facilitate team collaboration, businesses deploy Information and Communications Technology–based tools. The progressive implementation of corporate weblogs is a good and recent example, but an adequate use of collaborative tools requires employees to perform a certain collaborative behavior, a concept which entails a set of personal attitudes related to behaviors such as: participation in decision-making processes, embracing good practices for individual and group communication, and the quality of relations at the workplace. Collaborative behavior is considered necessary for team development and becomes critical in knowledge sharing activities in companies. Therefore, this paper aims to characterize and measure employees’ collaborative behavior toward 2.0 enterprise tools, and specifically toward corporate weblogs, taking into account relevant factors of influence. Drawing upon extant literature, we have identified six factors influencing collaborative behavior : 1) sense of belonging to a community, which reflects how an individual believes he is part of a community, collective or social group; 2) altruism, as the act of doing something for others without expecting any reward; 3) reciprocity, or seeking for mutual benefits through knowledge sharing; 4) reputation, or the individual’s expected gains in prestige and esteem due to the value of his contributions; 5) shared goals, related to common interests; and 6) mutual trust, or the tendency to believe in others’ behaviors and opinions, which represents the expected veracity of others’ contributions. Based on these premises, we have formulated a research model with six hypotheses with relations between these factors and collaborative behavior ; the research model has been empirically tested on a sample of 86 employees from the Information Systems department of a large industrial Spanish-based company, with Likert-7 scales for each variable derived from relevant literature. Data were analyzed using the partial least squares (PLS) technique, adequate for small sample populations and which offers measures for predictive relevance. Measurement instrument reliability, convergent and discriminant validity were assessed and confirmed, as was the predictive ability of the proposed research model, with the six factors accounting for 77 percent of the variance explained for collaborative behavior. The main findings from this study are: a) existence of shared goals is the factor with the strongest influence on collaborative behavior, which signals at the relevance of carefully selecting the initial set of participants in the blog, so as to ensure they share interests and objectives; b) there is a deep interest in participating in corporate blogs out of altruism –which was significant–, whereas reputation and reciprocity have no influence on collaborative behavior ; however, the component of altruism associated with enjoyment was found not to be relevant in business contexts; c) the significant influence of mutual trust emphasizes the relevance given by employees to content quality and reliability; d) sense of belonging to a community was not found to be a valid predictor of collaborative behavior, which might be associated with an unbalance between the formal structure of the organization and the community-driven nature of weblogs.

Keywords: collaborative behavior, teamwork, collaboration, blogs.

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