Modelling distributed knowledge processes in next generation multidisciplinary alliances
Proceedings Academia/Industry Working Conference on Research Challenges '00. Next Generation Enterprises: Virtual Organizations and Mobile/Pervasive Technologies. AIWORC'00. (Cat. No.PR00628)
Current research on distributed knowledge processes suggests a critical conflict between knowledge processes in groups and the technologies built to support them. The conflict centers on observations that authentic and efficient knowledge creation and sharing is deeply embedded in an interpersonal face-to-face context, but that technologies to support distributed knowledge processes rely on the assumption that knowledge can be made mobile outside these specific contexts. In this paper we
... e our multi-method approach for studying the tension between embedded and mobile knowledge in a project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation's program on Knowledge & Distributed Intelligence. This project examines knowledge processes and technology in distributed, multidisciplinary scientific teams in the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance), a prototypical next generation enterprise. First we review evidence for the tension between embedded and mobile knowledge in several research literatures. Then we present our three-factor conceptualization that considers how the interrelationships among characteristics of the knowledge shared, group context, and communications technology contribute to the tension between embedded and mobile knowledge. Based on this conceptualization we suggest that this dichotomy does not fully explain distributed multidisciplinary knowledge processes. Therefore we propose some alternate models of how knowledge is shared.