Expert finder systems – design and use: Survey results

Marianne Lykke, Eva Weidel

Research output: Book/ReportReportCommissioned

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Abstract

The survey aimed at investigating how companies deal with the challenge of sharing of employees’ expert knowledge. We wanted to find out which tools are being used to register, communicate and search employees as a knowledge resource. Specifically, we wanted to know how service organizations use expert finder systems to share knowledge about employees’ knowledge, interest, competences and activities. The purpose of the survey was to provide insight into goals, content and functionality of expert finder systems, including updating strategies and connection to social media knowledge sharing tools, for example LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Lotus Quickr, RSS feed.

We ran our survey with the online-service SurveyXact. The survey was open February and March 2011. The questionnaire was distributed by e-mail and sent to 2.853 service companies in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Greece, Monaco, Italy, Luxemburg, Turkey, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, and China. The sample was drawn from Kompass: the business to business search engine, and covered service providers with 500+ employees and distributed location.

25 companies completed the questionnaire, 22 confirmed to have an expert finder system and 3 reported that they did not have any expert finder system. The companies were situated in Europe and USA. Most companies had 500+ employees, 40% of the companies had more than 5000 employees. All companies had a distributed structure with more than one location, 80% with an international branch. Although the data is not statistically reliable there are some valuable insights:

• Expertise description should be rich and contextual – contain descriptive information about skills and credibility, practical contact information, and behavioral data about activities, documents, network and preferences

• Integration with social technologies is central - codification supports awareness and expertise retrieval, social networking supports sharing and interactive formation of knowledge
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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