Intercultural Collaboration

異文化協調作業支援 2001-2009


The research on intercultural collaboration challenges to understand communication process in computer supported collaboration among professionals with different knowledge background. Regarding collaboration is a social communication process facilitated by artifacts, we consider common ground and the practice of sign systems to be two theoretical constructs that are useful for understanding collaboration. With the concept of boundary objects, we introduce a view of computational artifacts as boundary objects and describe the collaborative process as a creative process of unique local language (project jargon) in the development process of common ground. The practice of sign systems in computational artifacts will provide a complementary explanation for this view of common ground. We show that semiotics in computational artifacts can explain the importance of signs to reify professionals tacit knowledge in computer mediated collaborations. Furthermore, we try to show how the practice of sign systems contributes the development process of common ground in intercultural collaboration.

Using statistical conversation analysis and ethnographical inquiry techniques such as observation and interviewing, we study the communication process of five intercultural collaborations from the software design domain as well as the architecture and product design domains. In order to understand intercultural collaboration, this thesis presents several cases including two cases not facilitated by computational artifacts. The collaboration we consider can be understood as a combination of creative process and cooperative practice, the latter of which is a highly established routine work where one culture is dominant and has been a central investigation target in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The former is our target where the differences of stakeholders are wider and where intercultural collaboration is critical.

Our analysis of five different intercultural collaborations cases allows us to outline some salient features of intercultural collaboration and its communication. Our observation of the intercultural collaboration process suggest that when professionals with different knowledge background collaborate for collective concern in the early design period, their collaboration style is characterized by creating local and temporary alignment of practices facilitated by complexes of interrelated communication modalities carried by artifacts. Our study of how computational artifacts are used as boundary objects and how project jargon is created and used in work situations facilitated by computational artifacts has deepened our understanding of collaboration among professionals with different knowledge background. In this way, the thesis provides insight on collaboration in situations where professionals with unique abilities and knowledge work together to solve complex objectives. Since the thesis deals with phenomena for which little prior work exist, it has been necessary to take a somewhat exploratory approach. The thesis, however, still aims at clarifying the main components of this kind of collaboration and making a foundation for further studies.

国際化の進展、ネットワーク技術の進展に伴い、地理的に離れた地域間での協調作業が可能となり、また、異なる専門領域が協力してプロジェクトを実施する状況が増えている。異なるコミュニティに属する参加者間の協調作業においては。それぞれのコミュニティが利用する用語や、前提とする作業のプロセス規範などが異なり、同一のコミ ュニティ内での協調作業においては生じない課題が生じる。たとえば、異なるコミュニティ間でのコミュニケー ションにおいてはそれぞれのコミュニティが有している言葉の意味合いのずれが生じる。このようなずれは単に用語の翻訳をおこな うことでは埋めることができない。異なるコミュニティ間で協調作業を円滑に進めるためにコンピュータはどのような支援ができるだろうかを理解するため、コラボレーションのプロセスの研究を行った。



通常、コミュニケーション分析では、発話行為や会話分析が行われてきたが、コミュニケーションは社会的行為であり、モノに仲介されているという立場から、コミュニケーションに用いられる外在化表現を含めた相互作用環境を対象とした分析を行った。また、データ補完的目的により抽出可能な会話に限定されるものの、一部定量分析を行った(Mixed Methods)。

Ph.D. Thesis/博士論文

Bridging and Breakdowns – Using computational artifacts across social worlds, Ph.D Thesis, IT University of Copenhagen, Oct 2009. (異文化間の協調作業支援システムの研究)


Committee Members