Transforming Communications in the Workplace: The Impact of UC on Perceived Productivity in a Multi-national Corporation

Joy Fluker, Meg Coffin Murray
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 12  •  2017  •  pp. 175-187
Aim/Purpose: Unified Communications (UC) is touted as a technology that will transform business communication. While positive claims abound, the factors of UC attributable to its success have yet to be identified. By examining how users perceive UC impacts productivity, this study aids organizations in making better decisions regarding investments in and usage of communications technologies.

Background: Unified Communications integrates disparate communications and information sharing applications into a single platform. The promise of UC is that it will revolutionize the workplace by providing a more synchronized fit between the way people communicate and the technology they use.

Methodology: Through case study research conducted within a large multinational corporation (the Hewlett Packard Company), this study investigated the impact of UC on productivity. Interview narratives were examined using an open coding technique to capture individual perceptions of productivity. Further, to assess the role UC plays in facilitating relationship building and its connection to productivity, participant responses were mapped to the key factors of technology that influence relationships within an organization as identified by Dillon and Montano (2005).

Contribution: This research contributes to studies on the impact of UC on productivity in the workplace.
Findings UC was found to increase personal productivity, remove communication barriers, and create a more positive work environment.

Recommendations for Practitioners : The findings of this study will aid organizations in making investment decisions as they evolve their business communications strategy.

Impact on Society: Unified Communications will play an increasingly important role as people adapt to the evolving digital world through which they communicate and collaborate.

Future Research: Little research exists that examines the impact of UC within an organization. Additional research investigating the use of UC in a variety of business sectors is needed.
Unified Communications (UC), business communications, communications channels, perceived productivity
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