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8.5 Organizational Hypermedia

Organizational hypermedia is hypermedia technology applied to the information processing needs of an organization where information is shared among individuals [Isakowitz, 1993]. Daft and Lengel had stated that uncertainty and equivocality are two problems faced by present-day organizations. Hence, they acquire more information in order to reduce uncertainty. However, this does not solve the problem of equivocality or ambiguity inherent in organizational tasks. Minimization of equivocality requires face-to-face discussions and rich exchange of views among decision makers. Both uncertainty and equivocality can be reduced by employing hypermedia functionality in organizational information systems. Since hypermedia provides the structural mechanisms to manage complex relationships between various pieces of information, it can support equivocality reduction (similar to CMC systems). However, experiments are required to support these theories. Similar to group memory in a collaborative system, an organization manages information in a repository called “organizational memory”. Organizational memories contain entities such as facts, positions, and events which are highly suitable for hypertext representation. However, hypermedia systems should address some of the problems associated with organizational memory such as pollution, growth, waste, restructuring, interoperability, and flexibility.

The following are some of the research issues related to organizational hypermedia: