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Designing Competence Systems: Towards Interest-Activated Technology

Journal article
Authors Rikard Lindgren
Dick Stenmark
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems
Volume 14
Pages 19-35
Publication year 2002
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 19-35
Language en
Subject categories Media and Communication Technology


Despite the considerable research interest shown in various types of knowledge management systems, not much academic work can be found on information technology (IT) support for managing competence. This paper addresses this shortage by presenting an 18-month action case study of the design, implementation, and evaluation of a traditional competence system at Volvo Information Technology AB in Gothenburg, Sweden. In addition, to upset prevailing assumptions and provoke reflection among the organisational members, we implemented and introduced an interest-activated recommender system prototype as a contrasting competence system. Our results increase our understanding of competence systems in two ways: First, we illustrate how inherent problematic aspects of mainstream competence systems can negatively affect the adoption and use of such systems. Second, we show how interest-activated technology can be exploited and developed to support competence management. Building on these results, this paper’s main contribution is five general design implications for future competence systems based on interest-activated technology.

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