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Exploring the Openness of Cognitive Artifacts in Cooperative Process Management
Linköping University, The Tema Institute. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2002 (English)In: Cognition, Technology & Work, ISSN 1435-5558, E-ISSN 1435-5566, Vol. 4, no 1, 9-21 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a field study at a Stockholm underground control room, with particular focus on the different interactional affordances of the artifacts, used by the operators. The analysis is based on the notion that the design of cognitive artifacts affords different degrees of openness, i.e. to what extent they render the interaction of a task performer with the artifact open to others in the vicinity. A comparison between the dayshift and nightshift demonstrates how the various levels of openness are manifested during work. Some tentative design comments are made with regard to computer support systems for the underground line control.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 4, no 1, 9-21 p.
Keyword [en]
Cognitive artifacts, Cooperative process management, Ecology of artifacts, Openness of artifacts
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79039DOI: 10.1007/s101110200001OAI: diva2:537938
Available from: 2012-06-28 Created: 2012-06-28 Last updated: 2012-06-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The cognitive use of artifacts in cooperative process management: Rescue management and underground line control
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The cognitive use of artifacts in cooperative process management: Rescue management and underground line control
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Work performed in various types of centers of coordination is highly dynamic and requires that a team continuously take actions and make multiple decisions in real time. This type of Work is here refered to as cooperative process management. Through empirical studies, carried out in an underground line control room and in rescue management, this thesis analyzes how the various cognitive artifacts are used by the operator teams in order to match the particular nature of the tasks undertaken. The cognitive artifacts considered range from specially designed wall-mounted electronic boards and computer databases all the way to paper maps, refrigerator magnets, and Post-it notes. Of specialinterest is the local designs, redesigns, and customizations undertaken by the teams in order to create and maintain a mutually shared understanding of the situation at hand. Tiris thesis also examines thecognitive artifacts as coordination and conununication tools.

The findings are presented in four articles. The first article focuses on the role of the public artifacts in rescue management, i.e. artifacts which are immediately available to the whole team at the same time and place. Special focus is placed on the role these artifacts play for the creation of common conceptual ground. In the second article, the organization of an underground line control room is analyzed, showing how the same cognitive artifacts play significantly different roles dUring the day andnight shift. The third article describes how cognitive artifacts, which are customized by rescue management teams, structure their work in ways which make the tasks less cognitively demanding. Finally, the fourth article goes through an unusual incident which occurred during underground line operations, in which the team lost its situation awareness. This was due to the difficulty of integrating information which was distributed over several cognitive artifacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2002. 114 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 258
Cognitive artifacts, distributed cognition, cooperative process management, cognitive ethnography, centers of coordination, customization, cognitive system, computer supported cooperative work, ecology of cognitive artifacts, Kognitiva processer
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-33962 (URN)20120 (Local ID)91-7373-384-9 (ISBN)20120 (Archive number)20120 (OAI)
Public defence
2002-09-20, Sal Key 1, Hus Key, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Garbis, Christer
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