The distribution of computing: The knowledge markets of distributed technical support specialists

Kristin Eschenfelder, Robert Heckman, Steven B Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Distributed computing environments place more computer power in the hands of the end-user, and often demand increased technical support. In response, organizations may choose to move technical support personnel close to end-users. This can isolate them from each other, and may limit their ability to share knowledge. Thus, the growth of distributed computing calls for increased ability to share knowledge across organizational boundaries. This paper presents the results of a case study investigating how distributed technologists share knowledge through knowledge markets. We argue that knowledge markets are cultural entities shaped by the underlying work culture of their participants, and that the cultural forces that define knowledge markets are powerful, deeply held and difficult to change. Thus, improving the effectiveness of any given knowledge market will have less to do with the installation of information technology than with the ability to create a facilitating work culture. This study's identification of clique knowledge markets, operating efficiently in parallel to the public knowledge market, may provide a hint of the type of culture that will create fewer knowledge trade barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-103
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Technology and People
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998


  • Computing
  • Information technology
  • Knowledge workers
  • Management
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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