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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2601

Title: The dynamics of sensemaking, knowledge and expertise in collaborative, boundary-spanning design
Authors: Gasson, Susan
Keywords: Organizational Collaboration;Situated IS Design;Boundary-Spanning Collaboration;Distributed Cognition;Knowledge management
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Citation: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(4): pp. article 14.
Abstract: This study investigated how a project group deals with the contradiction between distributed knowledge in boundary-spanning collaborative processes and the expectation that software systems will provide unified, codified knowledge. It employed an ethnographic, interpretive approach to examine the ways in which relevant knowledge was presented, recognized, shared or otherwise managed during a project concerned with the joint design of business process and IT systems change. Developing a group understanding of how to manage sensemaking and expertise across salient knowledge boundaries were discovered to be central to perceptions of project completion. Four stages of this development were identified. The contribution of this paper is to propose these stages as the basis for boundary-spanning group management approaches and to suggest ways of progressing the complexities of communication, consensus-building, information exchange, problem-formulation and solution-brokering that are fundamental to collaboration in IS definition. These processes are normally taken for granted, rationalized or ignored by managers of IT-related organizational change. The use of specific types of boundary-object may aid in managing such processes explicitly and ensuring rapid progress. Thus the findings have significant implications for research and practice in other forms of boundary-spanning group collaboration, such as organizational innovation and problem-solving.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/2601
Appears in Collections:Faculty Research and Publications (IST)

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