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Email-free collaboration among knowledge workers

Research: Email-free collaboration among knowledge worker
Published on
13 January 2016

Social collaboration technologies have spread rapidly among many organizations, offering a unique opportunity to improve the exchange of knowledge among employees. 

These technologies inevitably raise questions about the future of email, as intensive use by knowledge workers is increasingly perceived as inefficient and counter-productive. Working with his co-author, Jean-Charles Pillet, a PhD candidate and member of the Alternative Forms of Market and Organizations team at Grenoble Ecole de Management, studied the role of collaborative habits in a firm engaged in a no-email initiative.

Through a quantitative case study methodology, the authors investigate the role of work habits in influencing the relationship between their attitude toward a social collaboration platform and employee knowledge sharing capabilities. Data were collected within the IT support service department of a large international IT company employing 80 000 people, notably one of the first having made a drastic shift towards a social collaboration culture. The findings show that social collaboration platforms improve the knowledge sharing capability of the firm, especially when working with a collaborative mindset has become habitual among employees.


Social Collaboration, no email, habit, case study, disruptive technology, knowledge sharing, knowledge workers.


Pillet J. C., Carillo D. A., 2016. Email-free collaboration: An exploratory study on the formation of new work habits among knowledge workers, International Journal of Information Management, 36, 1: 113-125

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