Helping Cooperation in Human Organizations
Introduction of computers in workspaces has involved new habits. Cooperative work has turned little by little into computer supported coordinated work (people isolating themselves and communicating only when the task is completed). Thanks to research led on CSCW (Computer Supported Cooperative Work), many local solutions to cooperation problems have appeared and appear yet. This paper concerns the study of a user driven modeling method, applied to a human organization in a workflow context. This method allows specification of human-machine interfaces making cooperation easier in the global system.
This research have been carried out in an industrial context, more precisely in the patent department of SOLVAY enterprise in Brussels. This department, composed of about sixty persons, has known a digital data growth. This growth has, in one hand, accelerated procedure working, but on the other hand, has instigated new problems of cooperation, particularly of coordination. So, before the setting-up of a tool supporting cooperative work, processes of the department have to be optimized. With this aim in view, we have exploited a reference organizational model: holonic systems. Holonic systems have been proposed by A. Koestler ( Koestler 1969), to describe biological and social systems. Each part of a holonic system, called holarchy, is considered both as a____________________