The exchange of organisational resources like knowledge, advice, or help is key to sustaining efficiency and increasing organisational performance. Although advances in information and communication technologies have opened up new possibilities for exchanging resources across organisational structures, formal hierarchies, and locations, sufficient member engagement on digital collaboration platforms still seems to be the exception rather than the rule in many organisations. While the interpersonal exchange of information might mitigate lacking digital collaboration, this becomes problematic when external circumstances prohibit face-to-face interaction, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While existing approaches in management and psychology research explain differences in technology usage often by referring to (individual) human aspects, information systems research focuses on the technical side, for example, by exploring system alterations and their effects on technology adoption and acceptance. To fully understand (the lack of) technology-enabled collaboration of organisational members, we propose a holistic view on the topic to reconcile the mutual dependencies between platforms’ human and system elements. For stimulating member engagement in digital collaboration contexts, it is a (risky yet) promising approach to advance developments in the field by conceptualising collaboration platforms not only as passive artifacts but also as emerging and interacting entities that can affect individuals’ behavior themselves.
Committed to addressing the need to extend research on these organisational platforms, both theoretically and empirically, we propose a multidisciplinary and multimethod evidence-based research approach acknowledging that collaboration is a two-sided process where platforms are “brokers” for matching resource-seekers and -contributors. Relying on principles from digital economics, management studies, psychology, and information systems research, we plan to identify concrete and actionable levers of technology-based organisational interaction while also examining how platform design can stimulate member engagement.