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20080509 Friday Food Manchester United Business School
 

20080509 Friday Food Manchester United Business School

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Diversity and representation in coordination of interdisciplinary research projects

Diversity and representation in coordination of interdisciplinary research projects

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    20080509 Friday Food Manchester United Business School 20080509 Friday Food Manchester United Business School Presentation Transcript

    • Diversity and representation in coordination of interdisciplinary research projects Using Small Groups As Complex Systems Theory as a practice lens
    • Overview
      • Context
      • Definitions
      • The value of a theoretical lens
      • Why SGACS?
      • Overview of SGACS
      • Examples
      • Proposed case studies
      • Nature of the research
      • Benefits to IBBT
    • Definitions
      • Multidisciplinarity – A mindset that endeavours to study subjects from several academic disciplines in parallel
      • Interdisciplinarity – A mindset that endeavours to combine the tools and theories of several academic disciplines in the study of subjects
      • Transdisciplinarity – A mindset that endeavours to develop theories and tools that are independent of particular academic disciplines
    • The value of theoretical practice lenses
      • Provide constructs used to understand socio-technical system
        • Orlikowski (2000) applied Giddens’ structuration theory to study technology in use
        • Walsham (2002) used structuration theory to study outsourcing practices in software development
        • Wastell (2004) applied Actor Network Theory to the study the role of technology in local government and its effect on power relations
        • Kuuti (1999) developed a framework for using Activity Theory to study IS development and research
    • Why SGACS?
      • Positivist tradition
      • Provides concepts (variables) that can be measured quantitatively
      • Provide a framework of relationships between group structure, activities and outcomes, and the context in which they operate (causal dynamics)
      • This framework can be used to
        • Diagnose pathologies in groups that do not perform as expected
        • Compare groups
        • Predict group performance from its structure and composition
    • Overview of SGACS
      • Multiple levels and changes over time
        • Local, global and contextual dynamics
      • Causal dynamics
        • Changes in the local and contextual dynamics cause changes in the global dynamics and are in turn affected by these changes
      • Group Functions
        • Group goals vs. Member needs
      • Group composition and structure
        • Members, tasks and tools
      • Modes of group life
        • Formation, operation, metamorphosis
    • Coordination networks
    • Example A (qualitative)
      • A case study of a joint crime prevention task force in a London Borough
        • Vehicle crime task group (schools, charities, social services), Police, local council representatives
        • Disagreement over goals
          • Lack of example strategies and best practice guidelines
        • Disagreement over basic definitions
          • Lack of statistics (knowledge) for determining where the hotspots and who the main perpetrators were
          • No agreement over who should provide that knowledge (roles)
        • Poor tool network
          • Lack of communication
      • Lack of useful representations to develop alignment between members from different backgrounds
    • Example B (quantitative)
      • Comparison of four student-project groups in a CSCW course
      • Measurement of local and global variables over time
        • Local: Records of communication network (email, phone, SMS etc.), diaries of member interactions (member network)
        • Local: Questionnaire 11 questions given four time one week apart
        • Global: Happy-o-meter
        • Global: Measure of the outcome (group mark)
      • Looking for differences in local dynamics between groups that could explain differences in global variables
    • Example B cont’d
      • Factor Analysis on questionnaire results uncovered 4 factors
        • Task needs
        • Member compatibility
        • Tool quality
        • Individual Comfort
    • Example B cont’d Dynamics Group A Group B Group C Group D L o c a l Task needs + + + + + + + + + + Member interaction + + + + + + + + + + + + Tools Support + + + + + + + + + + + + Member comfort + + + + + + + + + + + + G l o b a l Project Outcome + +++ ++ ++++ Member Needs + +++ ++ ++++
    • Proposed case studies
      • Study a (small) number of IBBT projects groups over time
      • Projects at different stages
      • Duration 3-5 months
      • One would hope to find, over time, a development in:
        • Group composition and structure
          • Declining diversity
          • Increased coordination of understanding
            • Nature and role of representations and communication
          • Increased coordination of goals
        • Global dynamics
          • Group function
            • Reaching goals
            • Members’ needs
    • Proposed case study cont’d
      • Variables of interest
        • Diversity
          • KSA
          • VBA
          • PCB
        • Boundaries
        • Tools and representations
        • Global variables
    • Methodology
      • Repeated (Semi) Structured Interviews
      • Analysis of representations used (e.g., emails, documents, drawings, etc.)
      • Communication networks
      • Diaries
    • Threats to validity
      • History
      • Maturation
      • Testing
      • Selection bias
      • Mortality
    • What does IBBT get out of it?
      • Evaluations of individual projects?
      • Awareness of problems that may arise and their probable causes
      • This which would allow project managers to:
        • Avoid problems by setting the conditions that promote productivity
        • Be able to detect early warning signs for problems that may be developing within projects