Cognitive science and organizational design: A case study of computer conferencing

Kevin G Crowston, Thomas W. Malone, Felix Lin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many researchers have investigated and speculated about the link between information technology and organizational structure with very mixed results. This paper suggests that part of the reason for these mixed results is the coarseness of previous analyses of both technology and structure. The paper describes a new and much more detailed perspective for investigating this link. Using concepts of object-oriented programming from artificial intelligence, the information processing that occurs in organizations is characterized in terms of the kinds of messages people exchange and the ways they process those messages. The utility of this approach is demonstrated through the analysis of a case in which a reduction in levels of management is coupled with the introduction of a computer conferencing system. The detailed model developed for this case helps explain both macro-level data about the changes in the organizational structure, and micro-level data about individuals' use of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages43-61
Number of pages19
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 3 1986
Externally publishedYes
Event1986 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 1986 - Austin, United States
Duration: Dec 3 1986Dec 5 1986

Other

Other1986 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 1986
CountryUnited States
CityAustin
Period12/3/8612/5/86

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction

Cite this

Crowston, K. G., Malone, T. W., & Lin, F. (1986). Cognitive science and organizational design: A case study of computer conferencing. 43-61. Paper presented at 1986 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 1986, Austin, United States. https://doi.org/10.1145/637069.637076