“The main activities are not those designed to produce and distribute objects, but those who produce and distribute knowledge and information”. According to the OECD, the ability to create, distribute and exploit knowledge has become a major source of competitive advantage and wealth creation. In this new form of activity, it is the interactions between the different actors, with distributed knowledge, which enable the creation of new knowledge and its transformation into innovation. However, if the potential combinations of knowledge depend on the distribution of knowledge in a given area, their implementation is not straightforward. Communities can have big differences in terms of code and system of values, and they do not, most of the time, have key interactions.
Because they offer wide opportunities for information processing and communication between individuals, information technology and communication occur more and more often as a supplement or as a prerequisite to flexibility, the ability to create cross-cooperation between different actors or the development of partnerships and exchanges. The introduction of ICT in organizations or communities is frequently presented as a new opportunity for knowledge exchange and interaction between individuals. ICT is indeed a set of tools for collecting, storing and transferring codified knowledge.
New information technologies and communication appear as potential solutions, because they offer potential in terms of communication and exchange. However, the use must be placed at the heart of these technologies. Today, the craze for information technology led some to question the “productivity paradox” of these technologies (i.e. an increased investment in this area does not advance the productivity accordingly). Thus, information technologies can not, by themselves, raise or lower productivity: only the use can. Therefore, the only solution, even the “best possible”, does not guarantee its effectiveness. We should overcome, as proposed by the authors of the Centre for the Sociology of Innovation, the idea that the choice of an effective solution guarantees its success, and therefore truly questions the notion of use.
One must therefore integrate into design methods user integration from the first moments of the design cycle of the project. Therefore, one may evaluate existing collaborative practices. Technology changing too quickly these practices is unlikely to improve the management and development of a project. Therefore the implementation of collaborative technologies require that the objectives are not only understood by the different collaborators, but that they fit into the logic of pre-existing work. Set up a Wiki to enhance creativity will have no positive effect if employees do not have the habit of exchanging information in a flexible way. In addition, stakeholders should be aware of the interest of sharing at different levels and in different areas of business, unless that ultimately create platforms and heavy information systems, illegible and appearing as an unnecessary additional burden.