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Computer Supported Cooperative Work 21

Editors:Kjeld Schmidt
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 0925-9724
Links:springerlink.metapress.com | Table of Contents
  1. JCSCW 2012-02 Volume 21 Issue 1
  2. JCSCW 2012-06 Volume 21 Issue 2/3
  3. JCSCW 2012-10 Volume 21 Issue 4/5
  4. JCSCW 2012-12 Volume 21 Issue 6

JCSCW 2012-02 Volume 21 Issue 1

Building Urban Narratives: Collaborative Site-Seeing and Envisioning in the MR Tent BIBAKWeb Page 1-42
  Ina Wagner
The focus of this paper is on studying mixed teams of urban planners, citizens and other stakeholders co-constructing their vision for the future of a site. The MR Tent provides a very specific collaborative setting: an assembly of technologies brought outdoors onto the site of an urban project, which offers vistas onto the site as well as a multiplicity of representations of the site to work with, in different media and taken from different perspectives. The prime focus of this paper is on the complex narratives participants co-constructed in three participatory workshops, with the aim to understand how the core aspects of the MR Tent -- spatiality, representation and haptic engagement -- shape these narratives. Main findings of this research concern: how the design of the multi-layered space of the MR-Tent supports spatial story-telling; how the different representations of the site of an urban project offer the opportunity to choreograph a 'site-seeing' that helps participants understand the site and plan interventions; how the 'tangibles' in the MR-Tent encourage a different way of contributing to a shared project and 'building a vision'.
Keywords: Collaboration; Mixed reality; Multimodal analysis; Participation; Representation; Spatiality; Tangible user interface; Urban planning
Pursuing Leisure: Reflections on Theme Park Visiting BIBAKWeb Page 43-79
  Abigail Durrant; David S. Kirk; Steve Benford; Tom Rodden
In this paper, we present the theme park as a novel commercial setting and distinct cultural ecology for CSCW research, presenting challenges to technology designers interested in supporting cultural visiting activities. We report findings from an empirical field study of theme park visiting by groups. Our account focuses on how visitors encountered the theme park, and how they worked with or "geared in" to what the park provided in order to pursue leisure activities to their own ends. We further demonstrate that, whilst theme park visiting features thrilling and fun activities, it also features the prosaic concerns of planning, parenting and money that connect it to ordinary social life. As such, we present the theme park as a setting in which work and leisure are intertwined as concerns of both visitors and the park, for producing and consuming theme park experience. We have focussed on the work of visiting groups to pursue leisure, and their combined use of park-provided and personal technologies in various "trajectories of interaction" within the park. Our findings point to considerations for the design of services that connect with park-provided and personal technologies to support group visiting, in theme parks and related settings.
Keywords: theme parks; cultural visiting; visitor experience; leisure; tourism; ubiquitous computing; souvenirs
Social Infrastructures as Barriers and Foundation for Informal Learning: Technology Integration in an Urban After-School Center BIBAKWeb Page 81-103
  Louise Barkhuus; Robert Lecusay
In this paper we explore the relationship between social learning environments and the technological ecologies that practitioners, learners, and researchers develop to sustain them. Through an examination of ethnographic research conducted at an urban after-school learning program we show how social, technological and power infrastructures influence learning and interaction in this setting. Adopting a holistic approach we examine how technologies are integrated into activities in this program to support the learning of the after-school youth. We emphasize both positive and negative infrastructures that contribute to the learning environment and discuss how identifying these infrastructures are one of the first steps towards understanding and informing technology design in informal learning settings.
Keywords: education; children; learning technologies; ethnography

Book Review

"Video in Qualitative Research", Christian Heath, Jon Hindmarsh and Paul Luff BIBWeb Page 105-107
  Behzod Sirjani

JCSCW 2012-06 Volume 21 Issue 2/3

Special Issue: Knowledge Management in Action

Knowledge Management in Practice: A Special Issue BIBWeb Page 109-110
  Carla Simone; Mark Ackerman; Volker Wulf
Doing Business with Theory: Communities of Practice in Knowledge Management BIBAKWeb Page 111-162
  Norman Makoto Su; Hiroko N. Wilensky; David F. Redmiles
We explore how the notion of communities of practice (CoPs) was translated and popularized from its original inception by Lave and Wenger in 1991. We argue that the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL), a spin-off of Xerox PARC, proved instrumental in enrolling CoPs into the knowledge management (KM) discipline. IRL objectified, packaged, and made a business out of CoPs. CoPs in KM are now a formalized process coupled with technological artifacts to build groups of people who effectively share knowledge across boundaries. Drawing from participant observations, archival documents, and interviews with KM practitioners in the aerospace industry as well as key players of IRL, our research seeks to unveil the invisible history that the popularization of a theory can often obscure. We argue that CoPs provide a case study for understanding how abstract concepts in science are strategically and subconsciously reified, or made objects of inquiry, and appropriated by actors. This reification of a "soft" science blurs the line between theory and technology.
Keywords: aerospace; communities of practice; knowledge management; science & technology studies; sociology of scientific knowledge
The Trouble with 'Tacit Knowledge' BIBAKWeb Page 163-225
  Kjeld Schmidt
The development and maintenance of organized cooperative work practices require, as an integral feature, what can loosely be termed 'didactic practices' or 'mutual learning' (giving and receiving instruction, advice, direction, guidance, recommendation, etc.). However, such didactic practices have not been investigated systematically in CSCW. Michael Polanyi's notion of 'tacit knowledge' vs. 'explicit knowledge', which plays a key role in the area of Knowledge Management, would seem to offer an obvious framework for investigating didactic practices in CSCW. But as argued in this article, the notion of 'tacit knowledge' is a conceptual muddle that mystifies the very concept of practical knowledge. The article examines the historical context in which the notion of 'tacit knowledge' was devised, the purpose for which it was formulated, its original articulation, and the perplexing ways in which it has been appropriated in Knowledge Management. In an attempt to gain firm ground for our research, the article towards the end offers a general analysis of the concept of 'knowledge', informed by the work of Gilbert Ryle and Alan White. Overall, the article argues that a framework based on the notion of 'tacit knowledge', or on similar conceptions devoted to categorizations of kinds of knowledge, impairs the for CSCW essential focus on actual work practices: instead of focusing on forms of symbolism, what is required is to focus on uncovering the logics of actual didactic practices in cooperative work.
Keywords: knowledge; practice; knowledge management
Affording Mechanisms: An Integrated View of Coordination and Knowledge Management BIBAKWeb Page 227-260
  Federico Cabitza; Carla Simone
In this paper we question the separation between technologies that support information and handle the ordered flow of work and technologies that support knowledge management. On the basis of observational studies and initiatives of participatory prototype design that we performed in the hospital domain and other cooperative work settings, the paper proposes a unified view of these high-level functionalities through the notion of Affording Mechanism. In order to clarify the implications for design, the paper discusses the relationships between knowledge and representations; the role of artifacts that are used in activities where knowledge is allegedly "produced, shared and consumed"; and finally the notion of affordance and its dynamics. In very general terms, an AM consists of an artifact and of dynamic relationships between the context of use and the artifact's affordances, expressed in terms of simple if-then constructs. The affordances conveyed through and by the artifact are modulated in order to evoke a "positive" reaction in the actors who use these augmented artifacts and to support knowledgeable behaviors apt to the situation. Moreover, the paper illustrates a prototypical technology through examples derived from the studies mentioned above, and discusses the kind of support this application provides in the light of an unusual interpretation of what it might mean to "manage" knowledge through computer-based technology.
Keywords: affording mechanism; Hospital work; Affordance; dynamic affordance; coordination mechanism; Knowledge artifact; ProDoc
Bridging Artifacts and Actors: Expertise Sharing in Organizational Ecosystems BIBAKWeb Page 261-282
  Volkmar Pipek; Volker Wulf; Aditya Johri
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.
Keywords: knowledge management; expertise sharing; case studies; IT ecosystems; CSCW
Beyond Expertise Seeking: A Field Study of the Informal Knowledge Practices of Healthcare IT Teams BIBAKWeb Page 283-315
  Patricia Ruma Spence; Madhu Reddy
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.
Keywords: knowledge seeking; informal knowledge; collaboration; IT teams; knowledge management systems; healthcare; qualitative research; team practices; organizational work
Exploring Appropriation of Enterprise Wikis: A Multiple-Case Study BIBAKWeb Page 317-356
  Alexander Stocker; Alexander Richter; Patrick Hoefler; Klaus Tochtermann
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.
Keywords: knowledge management; knowledge sharing; social software; wiki; enterprise wiki; web 2.0

JCSCW 2012-10 Volume 21 Issue 4/5

Special Issue: Collective Intelligence in Organizations: Tools and Studies

Collective Intelligence in Organizations: Tools and Studies: Introduction BIBWeb Page 357-369
  Antonietta Grasso; Gregorio Convertino
Productive Interrelationships between Collaborative Groups Ease the Challenges of Dynamic and Multi-Teaming BIBAKWeb Page 371-396
  Tara Matthews; Steve Whittaker; Thomas P. Moran; Sandra Y. Helsley; Tejinder K. Judge
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.
Keywords: collaboration types; collaborative work; multi-teaming; interrelations; office; teams; workplace
The Management and Use of Social Network Sites in a Government Department BIBAKWeb Page 397-415
  John Rooksby; Ian Sommerville
In this paper we report findings from a study of social network site use in a UK Government department. We have investigated this from a managerial, organisational perspective. We found at the study site that there are already several social network technologies in use, and that these: misalign with and problematize organisational boundaries; blur boundaries between working and social lives; present differing opportunities for control; have different visibilities; have overlapping functionality with each other and with other information technologies; that they evolve and change over time; and that their uptake is conditioned by existing infrastructure and availability. We find the organisational complexity that social technologies are often hoped to cut across is, in reality, something that shapes their uptake and use. We argue the idea of a single, central social network site for supporting cooperative work within an organisation will hit the same problems as any effort of centralisation in organisations. Fostering collective intelligence in organisations is therefore not a problem of designing the right technology but of supporting work across multiple technologies. We argue that while there is still plenty of scope for design and innovation in this area, an important challenge now is in supporting organisations in managing what can best be referred to as a social network site 'ecosystem'.
Keywords: Fieldwork; Government; Organisations; Public administration; Social network sites; Web2.0
Contested Collective Intelligence: Rationale, Technologies, and a Human-Machine Annotation Study BIBAKWeb Page 417-448
  Anna De Liddo; Ágnes Sándor; Simon Buckingham Shum
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.
Keywords: collective intelligence; discourse; human annotation; knowledge mapping; machine annotation; learning; sensemaking; network visualization; social software; social annotation
Enabling Large-Scale Deliberation Using Attention-Mediation Metrics BIBAKWeb Page 449-473
  Mark Klein
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.
Keywords: Deliberation; Metrics; Argumentation

JCSCW 2012-12 Volume 21 Issue 6


The CSCW Journal Turns 20 BIBWeb Page 475-484
  Kjeld Schmidt
Who's Got the Data? Interdependencies in Science and Technology Collaborations BIBAKWeb Page 485-523
  Christine L. Borgman; Jillian C. Wallis; Matthew S. Mayernik
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.
Keywords: cyberinfrastructure; data curation; data practices; escience; scientific collaboration, scientific software development; technology research; sensor networks; environmental sciences
Collaboration in Translation: The Impact of Increased Reach on Cross-organisational Work BIBAWeb Page 525-554
  Gavin Doherty; Nikiforos Karamanis; Saturnino Luz
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.Keywords Reach -- Coordination -- Awareness -- Fieldwork study -- Translation -- Organisational boundaries -- Localisation teamwork -- Workflow
Bridging Identity Gaps -- Supporting Identity Performance in Citizen Service Encounters BIBAKWeb Page 555-590
  Nikolaj Gandrup Borchorst; Brenda McPhail; Karen Louise Smith; Joseph Ferenbok; Andrew Clement
This paper explores in situ citizen service encounters in government offices. Drawing upon ethnographically informed fieldwork in Canada and Denmark, we discuss the challenges to supporting citizens in constructing and performing identities in public service settings. Our data suggests that citizens make use of at least three strategies in their attempts to perform the appropriate identities needed to "fit within the system" in specific encounters with government. There exists a strong correlation between citizens' ability to perform identities that are compatible with the bureaucratic administrative processes and the quality and swiftness of the service they receive. As we bring to light in this paper, this "fitting in" with rigid bureaucratic procedures and IT systems interestingly requires a substantial collaborative effort between the receiver(s) of the service and a complex constellation of surrounding stakeholders and intermediaries. This collaboration and the performing of multiple identities raises challenges for the design of e-government systems aimed at supporting physical and digital citizen service provision, as well as issues regarding privacy, citizenship, and public service quality. Lastly, we turn to a discussion of how the established identity gaps can be addressed through design. Information and communication technologies as well as face-to-face encounters have an important role to play in the building of an interface to government. Here, it is paramount to consider the context in which people and systems must function in order to meet the need for dynamic identity performance.
Keywords: citizen services; collaboration; identification; identity; privacy

Book Review

"Cooperative Work and Coordinative Practices: Contributions to the Conceptual Foundations of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)", Kjeld Schmidt BIBWeb Page 591-596
  Maria Normark
"Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing", Paul Dourish & Genevieve Bell BIBWeb Page 597-603
  Eva Hornecker