Supporting What? Kinds of Cooperating, Functioning, Competitive Unit, Performance - Evolving Mixes of All These are What is There to Support
9 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 2, 2013
QUESTION: Genius, it is said, finds great questions more than it invents great answers. Computer support for cooperative work finds great things to support more than it invents great supports for them?
ROOT PROBLEMS: Computer support for cooperative work has severely underestimated what was there to support, perhaps due to vendor haste to sell supports. And, it failed to orient properly towards continual evolution of what it supports and what supports become available in technology's never-ending accelerating stream.
METHOD: 371 MIT grads asked about “support for coordination” aspects of a four part Theory of What is There to be Supported developed from prior work in nontechnical fields studying work: cooperatings (coordinatings, organizings), functions (quality, solving, creating), competition unit (customer chains, supply chains), performance (lean and high). They were asked for issues (where things go well, go astray, delusions, insights that work in reality, etc.) The four levels were elaborated as cooperatings (8 ways groups coordinate from Mintzberg; 8 ways groups organize from Morgan), functions (4 core work functions from Kano; 30 solving functions from Xerox; 60 creativity models from Greene), competition unit (13 components from Roberts), performances (lean from Greene; high from Vaill).
The RESULT reached is nine core concepts of an ontology of work: 1) spaces theories, 2) quality work theories, 3) process singularities, 4) meta-nesses (work and creativity), 5) measures of socialness, 6) rhythms of socialness (pulsed systems), 7) game-simulation-work continuum, 8) social celluar automata, 9) general empirical computation theory. Changes in who designs, who they design for, what they design — from these nine concepts are stated as concluding hypotheses to be later tested.
Keywords: pulsed systems, social automata, general empiric computation, rhythms of socialness, measures of socialness
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