The Design Multiple: Sharedness and Multiplicity in Common Information Space
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Common Information Space (CIS) seeks to support communication, interaction, and sharing information to collectively perform work tasks and organize dependencies among the involved actors. The concerted efforts that go into collaborative work require some degree of shared understanding among the actors. However, exactly how much shared understanding is needed remains contested. Our findings from a case study of the complex-product design show that sharedness ranges from significant and moderate to minimal, which is already well established in the CSCW literature. This paper discusses these conventions concerning the CIS to improve collaboration. The case study focuses on the CIS conventions observed in the early-stage design of subsea equipment in an Oil and Gas project. Besides, it confers the significance of such CIS in supporting collaborative work practices. Our research represents an under-researched version of CIS against the dominance of moderate (and significant) degrees of overlap. Relative to the CSCW discourse on CIS, however, the most interesting aspect of our analysis is the presence of the third (“minimal”) overlap. The reported empirical insights can help the researchers to discuss the design-related work practices- sharedness and multiplicity- in a context not well explored in literature.