Beyond boundary objects: Collaborative reuse in aircraft technical support

  • Lutters W
  • Ackerman M
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Abstract

Boundary objects are a critical, but understudied, theoretical construct in CSCW. Through a field study of aircraft technical support, we examined the role of boundary objects in the practical achievement of safety by service engineers. Their resolution of repair requests was preserved in the organization’s memory via three compound boundary objects. These crystallizations did not manifest a static interpretation, but instead were continually re-interpreted in light of meta-negotiations. This suggests design implications for organizational memory systems which can more fluidly represent the meta-negotiations surrounding boundary objects.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Boundary objects
  • Collaborative work
  • High reliability organizations
  • Hotlines
  • Information reuse
  • Organizational memory
  • Safety
  • Service engineering
  • Technical support

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Authors

  • Wayne G. Lutters

  • Mark S. Ackerman

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