Intellectual Teamwork: Social and Technological Foundations of Cooperative Work

Intellectual Teamwork: Social and Technological Foundations of Cooperative Work

Intellectual Teamwork: Social and Technological Foundations of Cooperative Work

Intellectual Teamwork: Social and Technological Foundations of Cooperative Work

Synopsis

This book seeks to establish an interdisciplinary, applied social scientific model for researchers and students that advocates a cooperative effort between machines and people. After showing that basic research on social processes offers much needed guidance for those creating technology and designing tools for group work, its papers demonstrate the mutual relevance of social science and information system design, and encourage better integration of these disciplines.

This comprehensive collection closely examines the variety of electronic tools being deployed to solve traditional problems in communication and coordination. Unfortunately, research shows that these tools have not been as successful as their designers had envisioned, partially because they were not always produced with the needs and goals of their human users in mind. The editors' goal is to entice more social scientists to orient their research around questions of practical interest to information system designers and to convince designers to search for the knowledge about social and organizational behavior that would make their tools more useful.

Excerpt

Most of the work that people do requires some degree of cooperation and communication with others--some kind of teamwork. This is true whether they are producing material products such as automobiles or intellectual ones, such as this book, a scientific theory or a strategic plan to govern a major corporation. Yet, as students of behavior in groups and organizations have observed, the difficulties of coordination and communication tend to counteract the benefits that come from collaborative work and decision making. Of course, many features of the complex organizations that play such an important role in contemporary society--hierarchy, formal rules and procedures, and cross-functional task forces, for instance--are, in fact, attempts to overcome those problems, and the study of organizational behavior is, in large part, an effort to understand the nature and influence of those mechanisms. But as that research reveals, the solutions these mechanisms provide are imperfect; despite people's best efforts, coordination systems fail, communication goes awry and, as a result, errors occur and important work is delayed.

Now, as a result of the efforts of computer scientists and engineers, a new category of tools to counter the difficulties associated with cooperative work is becoming available--multi-media electronic information systems that make it possible to transmit text, graphics, and video images across time and distance and to organize information in new ways. These new electronic tools are being deployed to solve traditional problems in communication and coordination. But, as some of the chapters in this book will show, these tools have not been as successful as their designers might have hoped, in part because they have not always been designed with the needs . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.