Five Levels of Collaboration - Five Levels of ICT Support?
The research work presented in this paper employs the awareness evaluation model developed by Neale, Carrol, and Rosson . The model presents five collaboration levels based on how closely the tasks of different persons are coupled together. These levels are light-weight interaction, information sharing, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation. We applied the model in distributed process industry environment. Our goal was to identify the existing collaboration situations and place them to different categories of the model. In addition, we viewed these different collaboration levels from the standpoint ICT-mediated collaboration support. This meant that we identified both the requirements for ICT-mediated collaboration support and applications capable of fulfilling the requirements set by the interaction situations. As a result we noticed that one of the characteristics of interaction situations classified into these categories is a constant switching of collaboration levels. By this we mean that during interaction situations people are seamlessly shifting from one level to another. When reflecting this finding in ICT support, it seems to indicate that in the same way the support for higher collaboration levels should make possible seamless transitions from one level to another. More detailed results are presented in the paper.