Information Technology in Internal Business Partnering: A Case Study at a Major Swedish Truck Manufacturer
Abstract: In this study I explore the field of internal business partnering (IBP) and how IT is utilized in supporting these efforts and in supporting an increased awareness. I furthermore explore what the current limitations of today's technology are, and finally, in addition, study a specific collaborative tool, namely a word processing template, and how this should be developed to maximize communication quality within IBP. This research is based on a case study at a major Swedish truck, bus, and industrial and marine engine manufacturer. Here I have spent roughly six weeks with a standardization workgroup who collaboratively works with several different other departments, and explored these partnerships, what tools are used, what limitations exist, and how the specific template used for standards could be developed to increase communication quality. My findings are that IT supports IBP efforts through being a communication interface, where information is made easily available and distributed, making sure that the right people have the right information. IT furthermore has the potential to increase resource and asset awareness which positively affects value awareness. The limitation of IT is that it is unable to substitute the personal component of both push and personal contact. Finally, I conclude that the design of word processing templates needs to be focused on users in mind, and that efficiency is the main priority. I also conclude with a ranking of important components that affect the successfulness of collaborative tools - in this case the template.
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