Advancing Collaborative Knowledge Environments: New Trends in E-Collaboration

Advancing Collaborative Knowledge Environments: New Trends in E-Collaboration

Ned Kock (Texas A&M International University, USA)
Release Date: December, 2011|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 318
ISBN13: 9781613504598|ISBN10: 1613504594|EISBN13: 9781613504604|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-459-8


Effective technologies and tools for e-collaboration are central to the development and evolution of modern work and educational landscapes. Studies on the design, implementation, and evaluation of e-collaboration applications help individuals and businesses in their pursuit of effective tools for increasingly virtual modes of communication.

Advancing Collaborative Knowledge Environments: New Trends in E-Collaboration discusses the latest findings in knowledge-intensive, collaborative environments, focusing on frameworks and solutions for improving collaboration online. Uniting research on the effectiveness of instant messaging, the role of presence and awareness in real-time collaboration, and other key concepts, this reference is useful for those interested in frameworks for new collaboration technologies, as well as existing users of new technologies and applications.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Collaborative Performance
  • Collaborative working environments
  • Distributed Collaboration
  • Global Software Teams
  • Knowledge-Intensive Work Processes
  • Mobile Collaboration Technologies
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Self-Regulation in Instant Messaging
  • Trust Development in Business
  • Virtual Research Environments

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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  One phenomenon that has often puzzled computer science and information systems researchers over the years, particularly researchers interested in e-collaboration issues, is the high importance of having an audio channel for communication in the context of e-collaborative tasks (Graetz et al., 1998; Kock, 2004; Kock & DeLuca, 2007; Wainfan & Davis, 2004). Whenever audio is available (e.g., teleconferencing, telephone conference calls, face-to-face meetings), tasks seem to be performed more easily and with fewer misunderstandings. Moreover, adding video to an already present audio channel typically adds little to the e-collaboration medium’s ability to support group tasks (Burke & Aytes, 2001). While this is not a universal phenomenon (see, e.g., Daly-Jones et al., 1998; Baker, 2002), its frequent appearance in the empirical research literature merits a more robust theoretical analysis.
  An evolutionary explanation of the importance of oral speech is discussed here. It is argued that the high importance of oral speech is restricted to knowledge-intensive tasks. The reason for that, which is advanced in more detail in the subsequent sections, is that oral speech evolved among our hominid ancestors as a costly trait to enable efficient and effective knowledge communication. As a costly trait, oral speech is analogous to the large train used by male peacocks to attract mates (often incorrectly called the peacock’s tail). That is, like the male peacock’s train, oral speech is: (a) a survival handicap that only evolved because of its strong indirect effect on reproductive success, which counteracts its negative effect on survival; and (b) particularly important in the context of the task for which it evolved, namely communication of knowledge. Finally, it is argued here that even in knowledge-intensive tasks, the negative effect caused by suppression of oral speech may be countered by compensatory adaptation, whereby individuals adapt their communicative behavior to overcome the limitations posed by the suppression of oral speech.

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Ned Kock is a professor of Information Systems and the Director of the Collaborative for International Technology Studies, in the Sanchez School of Business, at Texas A&M International University. He holds degrees in electronics engineering (B.E.E.), computer science (M.S.), and management information systems (Ph.D.). Ned has authored and edited several books, including the bestselling Systems Analysis and Design Fundamentals: A Business Process Redesign Approach. Ned has published his research in a number of high-impact journals including Communications of the ACM, Decision Support Systems, European Journal of Information Systems, IEEE Transactions (various), Information & Management, Information Systems Journal, Journal of the AIS, MIS Quarterly, and Organization Science. He is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of e-Collaboration, Associate Editor of the Journal of Systems and Information Technology, and Associate Editor for Information Systems of the journal IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication. His research interests include e-collaboration, human evolution, action research, ethical and legal issues in technology research and management, and business process improvement.