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On finding things out: Situating organisational knowledge in CSCW

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Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands


We present a field study of an organisation which designs and constructs precision mechatronic devices, which typically integrate electronics, mechanical assemblies, computer hardware and software We study how organisation members seek out answers to questions and solutions to problems as they arise in their work We examine how project documentation is used, how chance encounters are capitalised upon, how advice is sought, the role of meetings, training and competence-enhancing activities, and the use of the organisation's information systems. We develop an account of 'finding things out' as an orderly and practically situated organisational affair, and compare this with recent studies in CSCW of 'expertise location' The paper closes with an examination of potential technology development programs to support people in finding things out in organisations while suggesting the re-specification of research on 'organisational memory', 'knowledge management' and allied notions in CSCW


Groth, Kristina; Bowers, John (2001): On finding things out: Situating organisational knowledge in CSCW. ECSCW 2001: Proceedings of the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/0-306-48019-15. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN: 978-0-306-48019-5. pp. 279-298. Full Papers. Bonn, Germany. 2001-09-16