Of Embodied Action and Sensors: Knowledge and Expertise Sharing in Industrial Set-up
Knowledge and expertise sharing has long been an important theme in CSCW and, importantly, one that has frequently challenged a prevailing view concerning knowledge management. This critique focused, initially, on the practical problems associated with issues of Organisational Memory (OM), and in particular the difficulties inherent in an oversimplified ‘repository’ model. Attention then turned to issues of contextuality and communication for expertise sharing, drawing on concepts such as communities of practice and social capital to understand, again, the sharing of knowledge and expertise in practice. Here, we report on how particular kinds of ‘embodied action’ can be identified in relation to the potential of cyber-physical infrastructures for knowledge sharing in an industrial context. We argue that, in a complex industrial domain, both the recording of physical movement – ‘showing’ – and the representation of local knowledge – ‘telling’ – are potentially relevant. Our proposal is that the evolution of cyber-physical infrastructures now offers a way of changing some early assumptions about how knowledge might be captured and displayed. We argue that we are entering a third generation of knowledge and expertise sharing research, where the use of augmented reality (AR) and sensor technology will result in significant new methodological innovations, including the capture and sharing of knowledge, embedded in embodied action.