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Creating a model of the dynamics of socio-technical groups

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Description: Individuals participating in technologically mediated forms of organization often have difficulty recognizing when groups emerge, and how the groups they take part in evolve. This paper contributes an analytical framework that improves awareness of these virtual group dynamics through analysis of electronic trace data from tasks and interactions carried out by individuals in systems not explicitly designed for context adaptivity, user modeling or user personalization. We discuss two distinct cases to which we have applied our analytical framework. These two cases provide a useful contrast of two prevalent ways for analyzing social relations starting from electronic trace data: either artifact-mediated or direct person-to-person interactions. Our case study integrates electronic trace data analysis with analysis of other, triangulating data specific to each application. We show how our techniques fit in a general model of group informatics, which can serve to construct group context, and be leveraged by future tool development aimed at augmenting context adaptivity with group context and a social dimension. We describe our methods, data management strategies and technical architecture to support the analysis of individual user task context, increased awareness of group membership, and an integrated view of social, information and coordination contexts.
Language: English
Format: Article