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Dissertation Information for Thomas Finholt

- Thomas Finholt
- (Alias) Thomas A. Finholt

- Ph.D.

- Information Systems

- Carnegie Mellon University (USA) (1993)

- Sara Kiesler

- None

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Inspected

Title: Outsiders on the inside: Sharing information through a computer archive

Abstract: This dissertation examined how employees who are geographically remote from the technical core of an organization use computer message archives for technical information exchange. Remoteness imposes at least two constraints on technical information exchange: reduced probability of contact with others who have information, and reduced availability of information about "who knows what," called here reference information. The main hypothesis of this study was that computer message archives will be used to the degree they provide remote employees with more contact with others and more reference information. The data were drawn from the contents of two computer archives of electronic mail, and records of their use in 141 geographic sites, at a Fortune 500 computer manufacturing company. Both archives contained electronic mail exchanges about technical topics. However, one archive, the Colleague archive, stored exchanges of questions and replies among regular employees. The other archive, the Expert archive, stored questions from regular employees and answers from designated experts. Content analyses of the two archives showed that the Colleague archive offered more opportunities to electronically encounter distant co-workers than the Expert archive. Further, the Colleague archive contained more reference information than the Expert archive. Analyses of usage showed that employees used the Colleague archive more than the Expert archive, and that combined archive use increased with greater geographic remoteness. Also, greater geographic remoteness tended to increase usage of the Colleague archive more than usage of the Expert archive. The results of this dissertation support a reassessment of the role of physical proximity in an important form of organizational communication: technical information exchange. Technical information exchange can occur without physical proximity when communication technologies provide broad opportunities for contact with others, and when communication technologies provide information about who knows what, or reference information

MPACT Scores for Thomas Finholt

A = 2
C = 6
A+C = 8
T = 2
G = 1
W = 2
TD = 2
TA = 0
calculated 2012-07-30 16:20:06

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Students under Thomas Finholt

- Mark Handel - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2004)
- Jeremy P. Birnholtz - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2005)

- Elizabeth Yakel - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1997)
- Qiping Zhang - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2002)
- Wei Huang - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2005)
- Nathaniel S. Bulkley - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2006)
- Kevin Kyung Nam - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2010)
- Cory Philip Knobel - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2010)