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Communicating Knowledge: Articulating Divides in Distributed Knowledge Practice

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Title: Communicating Knowledge: Articulating Divides in Distributed Knowledge Practice
Author(s): Haythornthwaite, Caroline A.
Subject(s): distributed knowledge collaboration interdisciplinarity
Abstract: Working together has always been a challenge, but recent trends in who we work with, about what, and across what regions, cultures, disciplines and time zones have conspired to increase the complexity of team work, and in particular the complexity of knowledge work and communication across knowledge divides. Over the past four years, I have been working with colleagues on examining the challenges, problems, and practice associated with distributed knowledge, with particular attention to the way distributed, multi-disciplinary teams communicate and collaborate in the co-construction of knowledge (Kanfer, et al, 2000). In coming to understand distributed knowledge practices, we have been struck by the many kinds of divides and constraints that impinge on any collaborative, multi-party endeavor. This paper explores the nature of distributed knowledge work. Borrowing the concept of asset specificity from organization theory, and affordances from the psychology and technology literature, I suggest that in order to understand work and communication problems for multi-party teams, attention needs to be paid to the knowledge-based asset specificities that can constrain work, as well as to the affordances that may expand the ability to work together across knowledge divides.
Issue Date: 2004
Citation Info: Haythornthwaite, C. (May 2004). Communicating knowledge: Articulating divides in distributed knowledge practice. Paper presented at the International Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/10676
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-03-31
 

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