Can range in information technology boost innovation in a mature industry? A case study of a work-oriented social media platform for innovative ideas and solutions in a large upstream oil & gas enterprise

Nobbay, A.B., 2020. Can range in information technology boost innovation in a mature industry? A case study of a work-oriented social media platform for innovative ideas and solutions in a large upstream oil & gas enterprise. DBA, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

This work explores the potential for enterprises in mature industries to employ the construct of Range, through its embodiment in software and processes that enable domain-crossing, to boost innovation. It builds on a theoretical framework proposed by Nobbay (2015), the Five Rs of IT-Enabled Innovation, which distinguishes Range as a separate concept in information science. Range involves the enablement of human networks across functional domains and socio-cultural boundaries. Work-Oriented Social Media (WOSM) platforms are prime examples of applications embodying Range.

In a case study presented in this Doc 5 paper, a single WOSM platform, focused on innovation, is analysed from the perspective of features influencing adoption. The features are examined using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) framework (Venkatesh et al., 2003), which built on the Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1989) and other theoretical lenses of technology adoption.

Primary research was conducted in two phases, both using mixed methods. In the first phase, 55 professionals from multiple organizations were surveyed on expectations of IT service delivery in the Oil and Gas industry. Separately, six expert practitioners were interviewed in depth. The construct of Range was developed and explored in the context of domain-crossing potential. Detailed results of this first phase were presented in Docs 3 and 4, and are summarized and referenced in this paper. The second phase was a study on the use of a WOSM platform called BrightIdea to promote crowdsourced innovation. The work included investigation of features that influenced adoption and usage of the platform. Additionally, the potential for domain-crossing innovation was explored through data analysis of ideas on the platform. The study was built on data collected from a survey of 144 employees of Empco1, a large company in the Oil and Gas (O&G) sector. The study also included interviews with Empco staff tasked with promoting innovation.

Key findings were: (a) Social media features such as Likes and Comments favour platform participation, (b) Graphics and Statistics are desirable features of the platform, (c) Senior leadership encouragement was observed, but the platform was not boosted by Empco's middle and lower management, and (d) There was evidence of domain-crossing ideas, but technical disciplines had limited crossing.

This work contributes to theory in the fields of Information Strategy and Organisation and Innovation Management through the development of the Five Rs conceptual framework and examination of the potential for Range to promote innovation. It extends the UTAUT model to WOSM platforms. The case study of the BrightIdea platform also informs professional practice, through analysis of factors that promote participation. Both platform-intrinsic and enterprise-determined factors are covered.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Abridged version
Creators: Nobbay, A.B.
Date: April 2020
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 15 Apr 2021 10:43
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 10:46
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42705

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