Information work surfaces as supporting tools for interaction in meetings across disciplines,

Information work surfaces as supporting tools for interaction in meetings across disciplines,

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This Master thesis focuses on how work surfaces promote interaction in meetings for integrated planning across disciplines, organizations and locations.
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At a time when people ask what we will live on when the oil runs out, new ways to work are introduced. Several experts can interact despite huge distances, all accessing the same information simultaneously, and all can continue to work with each other’s ideas so you get more out of the resources. Decisions are safer, better and faster.

Integrated operations – the oil adventure continues!

Working across disciplines, organizations and locations is demanding. A digital storage of information will contribute to efficient work. Work surfaces are about automation of information collection, distribution and handling which help ensure safer, better and faster decisions. This led to the following question:

How can work surfaces promote interaction in meetings across disciplines, organizations and locations?

Based on document studies, observations in planning meetings and interviews we focused on the sharing of information and knowledge in a planning meeting in an international oil and gas company. Practice theory, knowledge sharing and boundary objects have been our main theoretical framework supported by theory from IO team, boundary negotiating artifacts and work surfaces.

We found differences in how the interaction took place within the meeting. The good dialogue in one specific group resulted in a limited interaction with the rest of the members. All the members did not understand the terminology and language used. This lead to a need for something to unite the members around a shared understanding.

Our findings led to different plans that tied the participants together because they represented information from different contexts. The plans may have the characteristics of boundary objects or boundary negotiating artifacts depending on the environment and how they are used. The operational plan can be a boundary negotiating artifact tailored to different work situations and therefore used to quickly establish a short-term shared understanding. However, all the plans can improve in order to possess the properties within the concept of work spaces. The use of work surfaces doesn’t automatically guideline optimal information and knowledge sharing across the borders. Proper use of work surfaces can help to streamline decision-making through a closer interaction.

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