JCSCW Vol. 21 (2012)

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  • Journal Article
    Bridging Artifacts and Actors: Expertise Sharing in Organizational Ecosystems
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 41061) Pipek, Volkmar; Wulf, Volker; Johri, Aditya
    We synthesize findings from longitudinal case studies examining work practices in three different organizations and propose analytical and methodological frameworks to guide the design and implementation of technologies for expertise and knowledge management. We appropriate the concept of ecosystem to argue that we can create active and useful solutions for knowledge management through a focus on interaction between two mutually intertwined elements of an ecosystem—artifacts and actors. We show that in expertise and knowledge sharing systems domain knowledge and technological knowledge are complementary and we present evidence that small solutions can have far reaching effects. Finally, we make a case for full integration of IT developers as an element of expertise sharing ecosystem.
  • Journal Article
    Productive Interrelationships between Collaborative Groups Ease the Challenges of Dynamic and Multi-Teaming
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 2012) Matthews, Tara; Whittaker, Steve; Moran, Thomas P.; Helsley, Sandra Y.; Judge, Tejinder K.
    Work organization and team membership is highly complex for modern workers. Teams are often dynamic as personnel change during a project. Dynamic team members have to be actively recruited and personnel changes make it harder for participants to retain group focus. Workers are often members of multiple groups . Though prior work has identified the prevalence of multi-teaming and dynamic teams, it has been unable to explain how workers cope with the challenges the new style of work should cause. This paper systematically characterizes the modern organizational landscape from an individual perspective, by studying how people typically organize work across their multiple collaborative groups. A unique contribution of our work is to examine the interrelationships between the collaborative groups individuals typically participate in. We introduce the notion of a collaboration profile to characterize these interrelations. We expected workers to be overburdened by contributing to multiple teams often with shifting personnel. However, we found that multi-teaming involves productive interrelationships between collaborative groups that ease some of the documented challenges of dynamic teams, such as goal setting, recruiting, and group maintenance. We define a typology that describes the various types of collaborative groups workers participate in, and provide examples of productive interrelations between collaborations. In characterizing interrelations between collaborations, we provide detailed examples of how people exploit resources across their different collaborations to address the problems of working in multiple dynamic teams.
  • Journal Article
    Collective Intelligence in Organizations: Tools and Studies
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 2012) Grasso, Antonietta; Convertino, Gregorio
  • Journal Article
    Collaboration in Translation: The Impact of Increased Reach on Cross-organisational Work
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, No. 6, 41244) Doherty, Gavin; Karamanis, Nikiforos; Luz, Saturnino
    Coping with the increased levels of geographic and temporal distribution of work and the near ubiquitous accessibility of information fostered by today’s networking technologies has been recognised as one of the greatest challenges facing CSCW research. This trend is reflected in the development of workflow-based tools which cross organisational boundaries, putting pressure on established coordination mechanisms aimed at articulating the work of teams that include co-located and remote members. In this paper, we explore these issues by analysing a localisation activity carried out across organisational boundaries where the pressures for increased distribution and accessibility of information manifest themselves quite clearly both in the way work is specified and locally articulated. We look at how the work is realised in practice, and present an analysis based on the coordination mechanisms, awareness mechanisms and communication flows which occur both inside and outside of the formal workflow-support tools. The analysis reveals a wide variety of informal communication, ad-hoc coordination mechanisms and bricolage activities that are used for local articulation and metawork. As well as providing a concrete illustration of the issues caused by increased distribution, beyond those inherent in the complexity of the work, the analysis reveals a number of opportunities for better supporting the work and for the successful integration of new technologies.
  • Journal Article
    Beyond Expertise Seeking: A Field Study of the Informal Knowledge Practices of Healthcare IT Teams
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 41061) Spence, Patricia Ruma; Reddy, Madhu
    CSCW has long been concerned with formal and informal knowledge practices in organizations, examining both the social and technical aspects of how knowledge is sought, shared, and used. In this study, we are interested in examining the set of activities that occur when co-located knowledge workers manage and resolve issues by seeking, sharing, and applying their informal knowledge. Informal knowledge seeking involves more than identifying the expert who has the knowledge or accessing the knowledge through physical artifacts. It also involves working with that expert to identify and apply the appropriate knowledge to the particular situation. However, our understandings of how people collaboratively work together to find, share and apply this knowledge are less well understood. To investigate this phenomenon, we conducted a field study of how professionals in three IT teams of a regional hospital managed and resolved IT issues. These knowledge workers used various collaborative practices such as creation of ad-hoc teams and the use of email to identify, share, and use informal knowledge to resolve IT issues. In addition, particular team practices such as how issues are assigned affected these knowledge activities. Our findings highlight how informal knowledge activities are affected by a variety of implicit and sometimes subtle features of the organization and that organizational knowledge management systems should support informal knowledge seeking activities and collaboration amongst the knowledge sharers.
  • Journal Article
    Knowledge Management in Practice: A Special Issue
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 41061) Simone, Carla; Ackerman, Mark; Wulf, Volker
  • Journal Article
    Who’s Got the Data? Interdependencies in Science and Technology Collaborations
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, No. 6, 41244) Borgman, Christine L.; Wallis, Jillian C.; Mayernik, Matthew S.
    Science and technology always have been interdependent, but never more so than with today’s highly instrumented data collection practices. We report on a long-term study of collaboration between environmental scientists (biology, ecology, marine sciences), computer scientists, and engineering research teams as part of a five-university distributed science and technology research center devoted to embedded networked sensing. The science and technology teams go into the field with mutual interests in gathering scientific data. “Data” are constituted very differently between the research teams. What are data to the science teams may be context to the technology teams, and vice versa. Interdependencies between the teams determine the ability to collect, use, and manage data in both the short and long terms. Four types of data were identified, which are managed separately, limiting both reusability of data and replication of research. Decisions on what data to curate, for whom, for what purposes, and for how long, should consider the interdependencies between scientific and technical processes, the complexities of data collection, and the disposition of the resulting data.
  • Journal Article
    Contested Collective Intelligence: Rationale, Technologies, and a Human-Machine Annotation Study
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 2012) De Liddo, Anna; Sándor, Ágnes; Buckingham Shum, Simon
    We propose the concept of Contested Collective Intelligence (CCI) as a distinctive subset of the broader Collective Intelligence design space. CCI is relevant to the many organizational contexts in which it is important to work with contested knowledge, for instance, due to different intellectual traditions, competing organizational objectives, information overload or ambiguous environmental signals. The CCI challenge is to design sociotechnical infrastructures to augment such organizational capability. Since documents are often the starting points for contested discourse, and discourse markers provide a powerful cue to the presence of claims, contrasting ideas and argumentation, discourse and rhetoric provide an annotation focus in our approach to CCI. Research in sensemaking, computer-supported discourse and rhetorical text analysis motivate a conceptual framework for the combined human and machine annotation of texts with this specific focus. This conception is explored through two tools: a social-semantic web application for human annotation and knowledge mapping (Cohere), plus the discourse analysis component in a textual analysis software tool (Xerox Incremental Parser: XIP). As a step towards an integrated platform, we report a case study in which a document corpus underwent independent human and machine analysis, providing quantitative and qualitative insight into their respective contributions. A promising finding is that significant contributions were signalled by authors via explicit rhetorical moves, which both human analysts and XIP could readily identify. Since working with contested knowledge is at the heart of CCI, the evidence that automatic detection of contrasting ideas in texts is possible through rhetorical discourse analysis is progress towards the effective use of automatic discourse analysis in the CCI framework.
  • Journal Article
    Exploring Appropriation of Enterprise Wikis:
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 2012) Stocker, Alexander; Richter, Alexander; Hoefler, Patrick; Tochtermann, Klaus
    The purpose of this paper is to provide both application-oriented researchers and practitioners with detailed insights into conception, implementation, and utilization of intra-organizational wikis to support knowledge management and group work. Firstly, we report on three case studies and describe how wikis have been appropriated in the context of a concrete practice. Our study reveals that the wikis have been used as Knowledge Base, Encyclopedia and Support Base, respectively. We present the identified practices as a result of the wiki appropriation process and argue that due to their open and flexible nature these wikis have been appropriated according to the users’ needs. Our contribution helps to understand how platforms support working practices that have not been supported by groupware before, or at least not in the same way. Secondly, three detailed implementation reports uncover many aspects of wiki projects, e.g., different viewpoints of managers and users, an investigation of other sources containing business-relevant information, and perceived obstacles to wiki projects. In this context, our study generates a series of lessons learned for people who intend to implement wikis in their own organizations, including the awareness of usage potential, the need for additional managerial support, and clear communication strategies to promote wiki usage.
  • Journal Article
    Enabling Large-Scale Deliberation Using Attention-Mediation Metrics
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 21, 2012) Klein, Mark
    Humanity now finds itself faced with a range of highly complex and controversial challenges—such as climate change, the spread of disease, international security, scientific collaborations, product development, and so on—that call upon us to bring together large numbers of experts and stakeholders to deliberate collectively on a global scale. Collocated meetings can however be impractically expensive, severely limit the concurrency and thus breadth of interaction, and are prone to serious dysfunctions such as polarization and hidden profiles. Social media such as email, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and web forums provide unprecedented opportunities for interacting on a massive scale, but have yet to realize their potential for helping people deliberate effectively, typically generating poorly-organized, unsystematic and highly redundant contributions of widely varying quality. Large-scale argumentation systems represent a promising approach for addressing these challenges, by virtue of providing a simple systematic structure that radically reduces redundancy and encourages clarity. They do, however, raise an important challenge. How can we ensure that the attention of the deliberation participants is drawn, especially in large complex argument maps, to where it can best serve the goals of the deliberation? How can users, for example, find the issues they can best contribute to, assess whether some intervention is needed, or identify the results that are mature and ready to “harvest”? Can we enable, for large-scale distributed discussions, the ready understanding that participants typically have about the progress and needs of small-scale, collocated discussions?. This paper will address these important questions, discussing (1) the strengths and limitations of current deliberation technologies, (2) how argumentation technology can help address these limitations, and (3) how we can use attention-mediation metrics to enhance the effectiveness of large-scale argumentation-based deliberations.