Double Agents: Visible and Invisible Work in an Online Community of Practice

Double Agents: Visible and Invisible Work in an Online Community of Practice

Elisabeth Davenport (Napier University, United Kingdom)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-200-8.ch021
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Abstract

This chapter reflects on work to create computer-supported Communities of Practice among small enterprises in the tourism sector and to establish a knowledge network for destination management. The work was undertaken as part of a project funded by the European Community. The author draws on recent work by Dourish in which he makes a case for an approach to design that takes account of both ‘embodiment’ and ‘embeddedness’. An online knowledge network is embedded in a given domain, but it is also embodied in physical interactors working with machines. Novices who interact in this environment by means of ICTs are thus double agents, working in a domain but also working with artefacts. Where the ‘workings’ of a device are not fully understood, expectations of what may be achieved in an interaction are likely to be unrealistic; this may affect the reach and richness of a knowledge network.

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