Can a City Manage Broadband Infrastructure? An Organizational Learning Perspective

29 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2012  

Angsana A. Techatassanasoontorn

Auckland University of Technology

Andrea Tapia

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations

Date Written: August 15, 2007

Abstract

This research examines the organizational learning process in the context of municipalities learning to build and operate broadband wireless networks. We apply the concept of absorptive capacity to understand the link between prior experience, knowledge activities and performance improvement. We use comparative exploratory case studies, Chaska, Minnesota and Hermosa Beach, California to illustrate our points. This study contributes new knowledge to the absorptive capacity literature by providing a better understanding of how public organizations learn to acquire new knowledge and the influence of absorptive capacity on performance improvement. We also extend the absorptive capacity model by introducing constructs that influence absorptive capacity and performance supported by the qualitative data from interviews with key personnel and archival data. These constructs include the dynamic of technology development, partnership commitments, the roles of external knowledge and learning-by-doing, and politics. From a practical perspective, the study provides insights and learning lessons for cities that are in the process of planning and deployment. It also offers more realistic expectations around Wi-Fi deployment taking into consideration that the technology is not a plug and play technology and that considerable efforts are needed to integrate the technology with other solutions to deliver broadband Internet services as well as to configure the system according to topologies, street conditions, buildings, density of trees, among others.

Keywords: organizational learning, absorptive capacity, digital community, broadband, Wi-Fi, public organization

Suggested Citation

Techatassanasoontorn, Angsana A. and Tapia, Andrea, Can a City Manage Broadband Infrastructure? An Organizational Learning Perspective (August 15, 2007). TPRC 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2103809

Angsana A. Techatassanasoontorn (Contact Author)

Auckland University of Technology ( email )

AUT City Campus
Private Bag 92006
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://www.angsanat.net

Andrea Tapia

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Labor Studies and Industrial Relations ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

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