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JOC Tables of Contents: 0102030405

Journal of Organizational Computing 2

  1. JOC 1992 Volume 2 Issue 1
  2. JOC 1992 Volume 2 Issue 2
  3. JOC 1992 Volume 2 Issue 3-4

JOC 1992 Volume 2 Issue 1

1991 Conference on Organizational Computing

Introduction to the Special Issue BIB i
  Andrew B. Whinston
Structured Discourse for Scientific Collaboration: A Framework for Scientific Collaboration Based on Structured Discourse Analysis BIBAK 1-26
  Matti Hamalainen; Safaa Hashim; Clyde W. Holsapple; Yongmoo Suh; Andrew B. Whinston
This article describes the initial stage of an exploratory research project on improving scientific collaboration. For the purpose of laying conceptual foundations of scientific collaboration, we discuss general requirements of a collaborative system for scientific researchers. With these requirements in mind, we outline the technical design of a prototype system to support scientific collaboration. This design involves a method of structured discourse and is integrated with electronic mail. The prototype system, currently being developed, will be tested by the authors who are collaborating on various research projects in the United States and Finland. Preliminary results will be available in the near term. Further development will include the incorporation of project management, negotiation support, and document production tools into the system.
Keywords: Scientific collaboration, Scientific discourse, Dialogue logic, Argumentation, Structured discourse, Issue nets
Computers and Coordination in Manufacturing BIBAK 27-46
  Vijay Gurbaxani; Edmond Shi
This article examines the role of advanced information technologies, particularly computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), in coordinating manufacturing activities. Our focus is on understanding the nature of changes in organizational structure and processes that are a result of, or are associated with, the introduction of CIM systems. The analysis is premised on the observation that coordination tasks are largely related to the acquisition and processing of information and are, therefore, sensitive to the application of information technology. Economic theories of organization facilitate the development of the relationships between information costs and the attributes of organizations. We use a model of a manufacturing firm, which incorporates elements of these theories, to study the organizational implications of CIM systems.
Keywords: CIM (computer integrated manufacturing), Organizational economics, Organization structure, Information costs
An Approach to Facilitate the Automation of Semistructured and Recurring Negotiations in Organizations BIBAK 47-76
  Carson C. Woo; Man Kit Chang
Communication is vital to the running of a distributed organization. To alleviate the amount of time organizational workers spend in communication, some tools should be provided for them. We propose a set of communication tools, based on Ballmer and Brennenstuhl's (1981) speech act classification, which are to be used by organizational workers during negotiations. These tools provide assistance to the organizational workers and can be used to program the structured part of the negotiation. Since the preparation and use of such tools requires additional time and costs, they are only beneficial to the type of negotiation that has other instances occurring in the future.
Keywords: Distributed applications, Office automation, Negotiation, Speech act theory, Protocol, Communication tools
A Framework for the Development of Distributed Organizations BIBAK 77-94
  Peter de Jong
A system, Ubik, is described that builds, executes, and maintains distributed computer organizations. A computer organization is built using three organizational components: structure, action, and power. The interaction among these three components mirrors some of the complex interactions in the external organization being modeled. The structure of an organization is modeled with semantic nets built of linked-together objects. The action of an organization is represented by an object called a configurator, and initiated by message passing. The power of an organization is maintained by objects, called sponsors, which delegate processing power to other objects. Active messages are used to build specialized objects called constructors, questers, and tapeworms. They build, query, monitor, and constrain applications running within an organization.
   Ubik is based on the actor concurrent object model. It supports the parallel execution of organizational applications distributed over networked computers.
   Ubik contains tools for the building of organizational applications by end-users. Programming by example is supported with the use of a pattern-directed language, used within two-dimensional pictures of forms. Distributed rule-based agents are supported using the semantic nets as knowledge bases and the tapeworms as rules.
Keywords: Organizational computer systems, Organizational development, Open systems, Object-based concurrent programming, Active messages, Tapeworms, Rule-based expert systems, Distributed systems, Parallel systems, Actor object model
Managerial Communication Patterns BIBAK 95-122
  Raymond R. Panko
Use of time studies provide detailed information on organizational communication patterns, offering a rich base of data for identifying promising new targets for "groupwork" support researchers. This article looks at use of time data that provide a detailed picture of communication patterns in the workdays of managers and some other knowledge workers.
Keywords: Communication, Groupwork, Deskwork, Meetings

JOC 1992 Volume 2 Issue 2

Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence in Organizational Modeling

Intelligent Models of Human Organizations: The State of the Art BIBAK 123-130
  Robert W. Blanning; David R. King; James R. Marsden; Ann C. Seror
The application of concepts from cognitive science and artificial intelligence to organizational modeling is a new and exciting area of research that may yield useful insights into organization theory and behavior. In this introduction we offer a framework for organizational intelligence, review the literature in the area, and introduce the articles in this special issue.
Keywords: Organizational intelligence, Artificial intelligence, Organizational symbolism, Organizational learning, Distributed systems
MAIL-MAN: A Knowledge-Based MAIL Assistant for MANagers BIBAK 131-154
  Luvai F. Motiwalla; Jay F., Jr. Nunamaker
Although several collaborative office systems have been developed recently to provide synchronous communication support for managerial work, they have not capitalized on electronic mail (E-mail), an existing asynchronous office communication technology widely used by managers. This is because E-mail technology has yet to incorporate intelligent characteristics and flexibility to support different office functions, which can enable it to adapt to the changing and uncertain environment of managerial work. This article addresses the conceptual and technological issues involved in development of E-mail to support managerial work with MAIL-MAN, a knowledge-based E-mail system unified with other office applications to model and support managerial work.
Keywords: Electronic mail, Knowledge-based or expert systems, Management support systems, Organizational modeling
A Knowledge Representation for Modeling Organizational Productivity BIBA 155-180
  David A. Carlson; Sudha Ram
The primary objective of effective productivity improvement is to reduce unnecessary and wasteful effort, not simply to speed things up. Constructing an organizational model along these lines might assist a manager in assessing the organization's current state and in moving to a more desirable position. Such models may be construed as managers' mental models. A mental model is not a static set of knowledge, but rather, a dynamic memory that integrates the new information resulting from environmental scanning. Thus, a mental model consists of some internal representation that reflects the essential features and relationships in a corresponding real-world system, for example, the organization. This article proposes an architecture and a representation scheme for implementing computational models that correspond with the mental models in managers' minds. A four-level architecture is outlined that consists of a linguistic layer, an epistemological layer, an object-management layer, and an implementation layer. An iterative, triarchic research method was used that simultaneously developed a theoretical framework, synthesized evidence from an American Express case study, and specified a computational representation. A prototype management support system developed as part of this research, called SPRINT (Strategic Plan and Resource INTegration), is implemented as a frame-based semantic network using a hypertext interface and is programmed in Smalltalk/V286.
Developing Intelligent Organizations: A Context-Based Approach to Individual and Organizational Effectiveness BIBAK 181-202
  Minder Chen; Yihwa Irene Liou; E. Sue Weber
Organizations interested in intelligent actions in uncertain or equivocal environments must possess or create a common context of interaction for participants in order to coordinate their activities and use information effectively. In a learning situation, the establishment of an intelligible context of interaction is especially important because the learner's assimilation of new information depends on its compatibility with the learner's existing knowledge and skills. Cognitive theory underlies the authors' discussion of the functions, development, and expression of intelligence, and informs their discussion of effective action contexts. Contextual information systems (CIS) are proposed as mechanisms for helping individuals and organizations manage personal and enterprise-wide knowledge systems. A domain analysis methodology, developed to facilitate the creation of appropriate action contexts, is presented. Finally, the contributions CIS can make to human and organizational effectiveness are discussed.
Keywords: Intelligent organizations, Contextual information systems, Repository, Collaboration technology, Computer-aided software engineering
Visual Agents that Model Organizations BIBAK 203-224
  Kenneth A. Griggs
The successful use of icons in interface design, games, and simulations to reduce cognitive effort is well established. This article explores an extension of the concept via a prototype implementation in Smalltalk-80 that uses object-oriented programming, AI techniques, and iconic "visual agents" as a means of expanding the scope of the visual model world from narrowly focused metaphors to organizations themselves. Visual agents are icons that encapsulate data and behavior of organizational objects including the user. Just as a desktop metaphor is based on "desktop objects" an organizational model world includes objects found within an organization. These objects are classified using a simple hierarchy composed of persons, things, and processes at the top level and a set of changeable entities at lower levels. This hierarchy provides the basis for the development of systems that accomplish managerial level tasks such as scheduling, reporting, advisement, and assistance. The hierarchical class structure, method inheritance, and message-passing paradigm of Smalltalk-80 offers an environment, which is itself, a good model for the approach. Thus, Smalltalk-80, in conjunction with embedded knowledge bases that provide agents with a limited but functional "intelligence," complete the approach to organizational modeling proposed here.
Keywords: Agents, Environments, Smalltalk, Expert systems, Object-oriented programming, Graphical user interfaces, Organizational modeling, Knowledge representation
An Experimental Approach to Intelligent Organizational Design BIBAK 225-242
  James R. Marsden; David E. Pingry; Ming-Chian Ken Wang
Organizations in competitive markets have no guarantee of continued existence. The intelligent firm in such a setting is the firm that can adapt its structure, the one that has the knowledge necessary to change when change is optimal, and to make enough profit to survive. We argue that the intelligent firm must understand the relationships among its structure, its production inputs (including information technology), and its productivity. When market and technological conditions dictate that a change in structure is optimal, the intelligent firm, the successful firm, will change. We argue that carefully structured and controlled laboratory experiments provide an excellent source for obtaining the knowledge necessary for organizations to adapt strategically. We illustrate how such experiments can be used in determining the relationships between organizational forms and information system constructs, and in analyzing what mixes yield maximum performance in decision-theoretic and game theoretic settings.
Keywords: Mental models, Semantic network representation, Organizational productivity

JOC 1992 Volume 2 Issue 3-4

Concepts and Models of Group Membership in Computer-Supported Knowledge and Decision Tasks BIBAK 243-262
  Andrew Philippakis; Michael Goul
Decision groups have assumed new and expanded roles as a result of the application of electronic technologies such as group DSS. The rational selection and assignment of members to a computer-supported group is an important research issue with significant implications for organizational effectiveness. Formal group-composition models are developed for knowledge-based and coalition-formation decision tasks. In the context of these models, group properties of synthesis, redundancy, and synergy are defined and related to concepts for rational selection of group members. Conceptual and operational constructs are presented, providing a practical foundation for initiating detailed analysis of interactions between group-composition and group-decision processes. Implications for future research are discussed.
Keywords: Group membership, Models of group composition, Group knowledge tasks, Group decisions
Empirical Research in Electronic Meeting Systems: A Demand Side Approach BIBAK 263-275
  Otto Petrovic
This study set out to empirically research the time spent by managers in meetings and to identify the requirements of an information technology system for supporting meetings. It does this by investigating the time commitment, efficiency, main problems, and benefits of meetings. In addition, it examines managers' attitudes towards information technology support for meetings. To fulfill this aim, more than 1,000 mainly middle level managers were surveyed.
   It emerges that a total of 22.4% of working time is spent in meetings; 34% of this time expenditure is rated inefficient. The opportunity for collective decision making and exchange of information are seen as the main benefits whereas the failure to identify critical items and agendas without priorities and targets are seen as the main problems. Analysis of their attitudes towards technological support of meetings shows that managers in principle have a positive attitude toward the idea. They specifically wish to see particular support for the preparatory and follow-up phases and tools to support qualitative-creative tasks.
Keywords: Electronic meeting systems, Computer supported cooperative work, Group decision support systems, Office automation, Groupware, Workgroup computing
Designing Communication Architectures for Interorganizational Multimedia Collaboration BIBAK 277-302
  Srinivas Ramanathan; P. Venkat Rangan; Harrick M. Vin
Advances in computer and communication technologies have stimulated the integration of digital video and audio with computing, leading to the development of various computer-assisted collaborations. In this article, we propose a multilevel conferencing paradigm called super conference for supporting collaborative interactions between geographically separated groups of users, with each group belonging to possibly a different organization. In a super conference, each participant must receive and display the composite media stream obtained by mixing media streams transmitted by all the other participants. Hierarchical communication architectures are naturally suited for media mixing in super conferences. We present algorithms for designing hierarchical mixing architectures that optimize real-time end-to-end delays of media. In order to improve their real-time performance further, we propose multistage mixing techniques by which mixers can carry out mixing concurrently with communication. Surprisingly, the optimal architectures for multistage mixing are widely different from those of monostage mixing (in which, mixing and media communication sequential as opposed to concurrent). Based on real-time delay constraints of multimedia, we obtain interesting limits on the sizes of both super conferences and groups within super conferences in optimal hierarchical architectures, which go to show their high scalability in terms of both the maximum number of participants and the geographical separation between them.
   At the Multimedia Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, we have implemented a conferencing system on an environment of Sun SPARCstations equipped with digital multimedia hardware. As an interesting application of the conferencing system, we have developed a telepresenter by which users can remotely attend lectures in progress. We present initial experiences with the system.
Keywords: Interorganizational multimedia conferencing, Hierarchical communication architectures, Monostage and multistage mixing
Systems for Finding People BIBAK 303-314
  Laurence Press
Finding a previously unknown person with the skills and knowledge to answer a question or perhaps to collaborate with is an effective use of a computer-mediated communication (CMC) system. This article discusses two aspects of systems for finding people, system architectures, and organizational implications.
   The architectures considered are special interest groups, centralized servers, and decentralized systems. The organizational implications are the value to organizations of people-finding systems, management incentives for individuals to participate in them, and participation in the absence of apparent incentives.
   The deployment and improvement of people-finding and other CMC systems will bestow a marginal advantage upon cooperative individuals and organizations with cooperative cultures. As a result, CMC may marginally alter organizational and human nature, nudging us in the direction of a time when nice guys finish first.
Keywords: Organizational culture, Participation, Collaboration, Computer-supported cooperative work
Lotus Notes (Groupware) in Context BIBA 315-320
  Laurence Press
Notes is a mail and teleconferencing (bulletin board) system for LAN-based users at locations that are not continuously connected. It supports asynchronous group work in different locations, and has a direct-manipulation user interface.
Paralanguage and Social Perception in Computer-Mediated Communication BIBAK 321-341
  Martin Lea; Russell Spears
It is widely held that computer-mediated communication (CMC) filters out many of the social and affective cues associated with human interaction with consequent effects on communication outcomes and the medium's suitability for interpersonal tasks. The relationship between paralanguage and social perception in CMC in different social contexts is investigated in two experiments. In Study 1, it was hypothesized that there would be significant differences in subjects' perceptions of anonymous communicators as a function of the paralinguistic content of the electronic mail messages they received. Subjects read three sets of messages containing different types of paralinguistic cues and a fourth set of control messages. They also completed a set of person-perception rating scales in respect of each message sender. The hypothesis was supported for both novice electronic mail users and for experienced users drawn from a large telecommunications organization. In Study 2, subjects participated in group discussions over a CMCS under four conditions, manipulated in a 2 x 2 between-subjects design. The salience of the task group was either high or low, and subjects were either de-individuated (physically isolated and visually anonymous) or individuated (physically copresent and visually identifiable). From social identity theory, it was hypothesized that de-individuated subjects for whom group identity had been made salient would evaluate users of paralanguage more positively than when group salience was low, in accordance with a social attraction response associated with perceptions of group identity. The hypothesis was supported. The results suggest that paralanguage is one means by which social information is communicated in CMC and that the meaning of paralinguistic marks is dependent on the group or individual context that is pre-established for the communication. The studies, therefore, question earlier assumptions that the social context is dramatically reduced or eliminated in this medium. The implications of contextual effects for the use of CMC by work groups in organizations are discussed.
Keywords: Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), Computer-mediated communication (CMC), De-individuation, Impression formation, Paralanguage, Social cues, Person perception, Social identity