New Collaboration through Artefact-Mediated Interaction with a Joint Knowledge Base
Keywords:new collaboration, knowledge sharing, joint knowledge base, boundary objects, artefact-mediated interaction
Collaboration is changing and increasingly emerging as what we call “New Collaboration”, a knowledge-based and community-oriented way of working together (especially digital, online collaboration). Unfortunately, organisations use only a small percentage of the potential of New Collaboration. One main reason for this is that they do not understand that New Collaboration is based on knowledge sharing and requires the individual knowledge of the collaborators to be integrated into a shared knowledge structure, a so-called Joint Knowledge Base (JKB). This concept of a Joint Knowledge Base as the tacit knowledge structure which is constructed, shared and maintained during collaboration, emerged during the course of our previous work and became more and more prominent as a key to collaboration. When a group interacts, the JKB functions as an interaction bridge, and this is why it is a key to collaboration. In this paper, we will revise and elaborate in more detail our concept of a JKB and explain its role in artefact-mediated interaction. First, we will explain the main characteristics of New Collaboration and summarise them based on a concise definition. Secondly, we will introduce the concept of a Joint Knowledge Base, explore the role of social negotiation in constructing it, define the JKB as a distributed knowledge structure, discuss the problem of obstacles which hinder its development and suggest how to solve it by means of gaining deeper insight into the complexity of the involved processes (communication, interaction). And next we will further develop this solution by introducing the concept of boundary artefacts and describing their implementation as tools for artefact-mediated interaction by means of a systematic approach. Finally, we will explain this systematic approach and show how boundary artefacts and artefact-mediated interaction work in practice during meetings performed on a commercially available collaboration platform where they contribute to the construction of a JKB.
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