Magnus Carlsson; Mats Olsson , pp. 40. Inst. för arbetsvetenskap och medieteknik/Dept. Human Work Sciences and Media Technology, 2002.
This report is our Master thesis. Our work has taken place at a one-stop-shop in Sölvesborg during the spring of 2002. We have conducted ethnographical studies concerning the one-stop-shops frontdesk and telephone exchange. During these studies we became aware of some differences under which the daily work was to be carried out. When operating the switchboard the staff usually work alone and perform the tasks individually. At the frontdesk there's usually two or more people from the workforce. They carry out their work in the form of a network, where the colleagues support each other in what seemed to be seamless cooperative work. We closely studied the work being carried out by the staff at the frontdesk in order to gain a deeper understanding for their handling of cases in their daily work. How do the staff achieve this seamless cooperative work, and how are the cues that trigger the cooperative work being relayed?
In this report we describe aspects of cooperative work and different mechanisms that affects cooperation. With the aid of concrete examples, we highlight how the staff in this environment, design their language and their actions. We argue that cooperative work is formed and coordinated with the aid of various artefacts. In the concrete worksituation there are cues being communicated that plays an important role in the success of the work being carried out. These cues often carry an invitation to cooperative work as we mean that they function as a way to ask the colleagues for assistance in the handling of a case, or reversed, function as to show that one is available and can assist the colleague.
To understand these mechanisms of cooperative work, some general and others more specific to the workplace we have studied, is of great importance to the understanding of how cooperation is established. We highlight aspects of cooperation that are important and must be considered when designing new technology intended to support cooperative work.
All names on individuals have been changed, to protect their true identity.