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Making Work Visible
Ethnographically Grounded Case Studies of Work Practice

$106.00 (C)

Part of Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives

John Seely Brown, Margaret H. Szymanski, Jack Whalen, Lucy Suchman, Wes Sharrock, Graham Button, Peter Tolmie, Francoise Brun-Cottan, Patricia Wall, Diane J. Schiano, Victoria Bellotti, Jennifer Watts Englert, Mary Ann Sprague, Catherine McCorkindale, Lisa Purvis, Gabriele McLaughlin, Nathaniel Martin, Johannes A. Koomen, Tommaso Colombino, David Martin, Jacki O'Neill, Jutta Willamowski, Frederic Roulland, Antonietta Grasso, Marilyn Whalen, Erik Vinkhuyzen, Stefania Castellani, Daniel G. Bobrow, Yutaka Yamauchi, Nozomi Ikeya, Koji Kishimoto, Luke Plurkowski, Brigitte Jordan, Mark Bernstein
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  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521190725

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About the Authors
  • In the 1970s, Xerox pioneered the involvement of social science researchers in technology design and in developing better ways of working at PARC, its internal research center at the time (now an independent wholly owned subsidiary). The PARC legacy resulting from this work is a hybrid methodology that combines an ethnographic interest in direct observation in settings of interest with an ethnomethodological concern to make the study of interactional work an empirical, investigatory matter. This edited volume is an overview of PARC and Xerox's social science tradition. It uses detailed case studies showing how the client engagement was conducted over time and how the findings were consequential for business impact. Case studies in retail, production, office and home settings cover four topics: practices around documents, the customer front, learning and knowledge-sharing, and competency transfer. The impetus for this book was a 2003 initiative at Xerox to transfer knowledge about conducting ethnographically grounded work practice studies to its consultants so that they may generate the kinds of knowledge generated by the researchers themselves.

    • The first book to describe the history of Xerox's pioneering involvement of social science researchers for technology design and better ways of working
    • Explores Xerox's hybrid work practice study methodology and its five techniques: observation, open-ended interviewing, data collection, data representation and co-design
    • Contains case studies on a variety of topics (practices around documents, the customer front, learning and knowledge sharing, and competency transfer) giving a wide-ranging look at how work practice research has been applied in many domains
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521190725
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • contains: 53 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Margaret H. Szymanski and Jack Whalen
    Part I. Work Practice Study in Historical Context:
    1. Work practice and technology: a retrospective Lucy Suchman
    2. Engineering investigations: what is made visible in making work visible? Wes Sharrock and Graham Button
    Part II. Applying Work Practice Methods:
    3. Uncovering the unremarkable Peter Tolmie
    4. Work practices to understand the implications of nascent technology Francoise Brun-Cottan and Patricia Wall
    5. Tokyo to go: using field studies to inform the design of a mobile leisure guide for Japanese youth Diane J. Schiano and Victoria Bellotti
    Part III. Practices around Documents:
    6. Exploring documents and the future of work Jennifer Watts Englert, Mary Ann Sprague, Patricia Wall, Catherine McCorkindale, Lisa Purvis and Gabriele McLaughlin
    7. New ways of working: the implications of work practice transitions Mary Ann Sprague, Nathaniel Martin and Johannes A. Koomen
    8. Behind the scenes: the business side of medical records Nathaniel Martin and Patricia Wall
    9. Seeing the right colour: technical and practical solutions to the problem of accurate colour reproduction in the digital print industry Tommaso Colombino, David Martin, Jacki O'Neill, Mary Ann Sprague, Jennifer Watts-Perotti, Jutta Willamowski, Frederic Roulland and Antonietta Grasso
    Part IV. The Customer Front:
    10. Integrated customer service: re-inventing a workscape Jack Whalen and Marilyn Whalen
    11. Interactions at a reprographics store Erik Vinkhuyzen
    12. Ethnography-inspired technology for remote help-giving Jacki O'Neill, Peter Tolmie, Stefania Castellani, Antonietta Grasso and Frederic Roulland
    13. Sign of the times at the department store: replacing paper with electronic signs Johannes A. Koomen
    Part V. Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
    14. Communal knowledge sharing: the EUREKA story Jack Whalen and Daniel G. Bobrow
    15. Designing document solutions for airline maintenance advisories Patricia Wall and Johannes A. Koomen
    16. Transforming information system design: enabling users to design Yutaka Yamauchi
    17. Rethinking how projects are managed: meeting communication across the organizational hierarchy Erik Vinkhuyzen and Nozomi Ikeya
    Part VI. Competency Transfer:
    18. Fujitsu learned ethnography from PARC: establishing the social science center Koji Kishimoto with a preface by Jack Whalen
    19. The work practice center of excellence Luke Plurkowski, Margaret H. Szymanski, Patricia Wall and Johannes A. Koomen
    20. Transferring ethnographic competence: personal reflections on the past and future of work practice analysis Brigitte Jordan.

  • Editors

    Margaret H. Szymanski, Palo Alto Research Center
    Margaret H. Szymanski is a Senior Research Scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and specialized in the study of language, interaction and social organization. In her work, Szymanski has examined topics such as communication across knowledge boundaries, social engagement at museums around electronic guidebooks, ethnographic training for corporations, and the organization of remote and co-present multi-party conversational interaction. She has published articles in Language in Society, the International Journal of Computer Support for Cooperative Work, Linguistics and Education and Discourse Processes.

    Jack Whalen, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
    Jack Whalen is a sociologist working for Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, an international NGO. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Art and Design at Aalto University, Helsinki. Previously, Whalen was a Principal Scientist at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center and Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Head at the University of Oregon. He is the author of Beyond the Barricades: The Sixties Generation Grows Up (with Richard Flacks); has published articles in Social Psychology Quarterly, the British Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, and many other journals; and has written chapters for a number of edited volumes, including Workplace Studies: Recovering Work Practice and Informing Systems Design; Organisation, Interaction and Practice: Studies in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis; and The Social and Interactional Dimensions of Human-Computer Interfaces.

    Contributors

    John Seely Brown, Margaret H. Szymanski, Jack Whalen, Lucy Suchman, Wes Sharrock, Graham Button, Peter Tolmie, Francoise Brun-Cottan, Patricia Wall, Diane J. Schiano, Victoria Bellotti, Jennifer Watts Englert, Mary Ann Sprague, Catherine McCorkindale, Lisa Purvis, Gabriele McLaughlin, Nathaniel Martin, Johannes A. Koomen, Tommaso Colombino, David Martin, Jacki O'Neill, Jutta Willamowski, Frederic Roulland, Antonietta Grasso, Marilyn Whalen, Erik Vinkhuyzen, Stefania Castellani, Daniel G. Bobrow, Yutaka Yamauchi, Nozomi Ikeya, Koji Kishimoto, Luke Plurkowski, Brigitte Jordan, Mark Bernstein

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