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The Collaborative Production and Use of Cognitive Artifacts in Rescue Management
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Communications Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates how the various cognitive artifacts used in three rescue management settings are integrated into the activity and in what ways they structure it. Apartfrom aoalyzing the ways in which the artifacts structure the tasks aod goals of tbe activity, thisarticle also argues that the artifacts produced by the operators themselves function as mediators oftbe overall uoderstaoding of the situation dealt with. The aoalysis focuses particularly on tbeteams' design and redesign of the artifacts used, and on how this ongoing process mediates thecommon problem space. It is argued that the collaboratively constructed and customized artifactsdefine the functional requirements of the task in such a way as to support the formation of acommonly shared situation awareness, something that is essential for emergency and rescuemanagement work.

Keyword [en]
Customized representations, collaborative production of artifacts, structure of the activity, mediating artifacts, cognitive economy
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79041OAI: diva2:537942
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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