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Study on Webheads in Action - progress report

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  • Christopher Johnson
    Hi Webheads, Now that my dissertation committee has approved my methdology for the study on WIA, I have begun the data analysis phase. I hope to finish
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 4, 2003
      Hi Webheads,

      Now that my dissertation committee has approved my methdology for the
      study on WIA,
      I have begun the data analysis phase. I hope to finish everything,
      including the written report
      by May 20.

      I am now working on the first stage of data analysis, which is the pilot
      case study.
      Basically, I have been sampling communication from various points from
      last year's
      communication and matching utterances ("units of communication") to an
      independent
      variable scheme I developed.

      The goal of this pilot study is a dry run of the full monte, that is, an
      analysis of all data between
      Jan. 2002 and Jan. 2003.

      Just to clarify some things, here are a few FAQs on the study. Please
      feel free to ask
      any other questions that you may have.

      1. Will the study prove whether WIA is a CoP or not?
      No. The study will weigh aspects that I consider unique to distributed
      CoPs
      (derived from two years of studying the theory and literature) with the
      data.
      The results would indicate whether WIA is a CoP, according to this
      criteria. However, it would take several studies of several different
      distributed CoPs
      to validate the criteria itself (note: validate my criteria and not
      WIA).

      2. What if WIA does not measure up to the criteria?
      First of all, this question is very simplistic. There are nine criteria
      over 13 months to
      "measure up to". There will be trends, fluctations, negative cases,
      tagential cases, outside
      influences, and a boatload of other things to consider. The conclusions
      will be complicated,
      as the whole procedure is.

      However, consider this. WIA is the first group, virtual or otherwise,
      that has been
      tested in this way. There have been studies on communication,
      reflection, facilitation; all
      of which draw on CoP theory. But no study actually looks at a group to
      determine it is
      a CoP. So this is a first, and Webheads is that first group. How does it
      feel? :-)

      There are some conflicting characteristics between CMC and implicit
      knowledge
      transfer (knowledge transfer via action or doing). This is an
      interesting situation to
      observe in that respect. Does the nature of CMC inhibit implicit
      knowledge transfer?
      Here, again, is a first for Webheads.

      3. So what's in it for WIA that is concrete and useful for the
      community?
      That's a question our resident crank would ask :-) Fair enough,
      it's a good question. At the end of the analysis, I can make
      recommendations
      to keep WIA's "CoPness" alive or make WIA aware of areas they may be
      drifting
      away from "CoP land", assuming I see any directions
      WIA is straying from the model.

      4. What directions do you think WIA would stray away from the model?
      No idea. I have to analyze the data and see.

      Basically, I'm looking at a very complicated phenomenon (WIA) through a
      filtered lens (9 criteria).

      Looking forward to your comments,

      Chris


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Teresa Almeida d'Eca
      Chris, First of all, congrats to you and then congrats to Webheads for having a member who has catapulted us to two firsts: WIA is the first group, virtual or
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 6, 2003
        Chris,

        First of all, congrats to you and then congrats to Webheads for having a
        member who has catapulted us to two firsts:

        "WIA is the first group, virtual or otherwise, that has been tested in this
        way."

        "Does the nature of CMC inhibit implicit knowledge transfer? Here, again, is
        a first for Webheads."

        In itself, this 'is' an achievement! And it feels great!!!

        Well, even if we don't measure up to all CoP criteria, it seems to me that
        we can certainly be considered as a 'sui generis' CoP, or a CoP in limited
        terms (as opposed to broad terms, meaning conforming to all criteria).

        Then there is another interesting point that seems to indicate that we may
        be 'sui generis', which is praiseworthy:

        "However, it would take several studies of several different distributed
        CoPs to validate the criteria itself (note: validate my criteria and not
        WIA)."

        Several studies! Wow! It does really seem that we are unique and not that
        linear. And, if that is so, it is very special and stimulating!

        These are my two cents on personal impressions of your message.

        I promise to think about the directions WiA may be straying away from the
        model as soon as possible.

        Thanks again, Chris, for putting us in such a special position! It is a
        privilege!

        Teresa
      • Vance Stevens
        Hi Chris and all, I ve just arrived back in Abu Dhabi and have started checking webheads messages. I feel honored that our group dynamic warrants a study of
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 9, 2003
          Hi Chris and all,

          I've just arrived back in Abu Dhabi and have started checking
          webheads messages.

          I feel honored that our group dynamic warrants a study of this
          nature. Also, it appears to be an instance of action research, in
          that results will be fed back into the community.

          I take it that the independent variable scheme you mention is the
          same as the nine criteria 'filtered lens' you refer to. I presume
          these are 9 criteria which you take to define a CoP. As you say
          these criteria will not themselves be validated during your study,
          you will no doubt try to defend their logic if not their validity.

          Therefore your study will examine WIA wrt these 9 criteria and
          perhaps indicate changes in the group over time. It will of course
          be interesting to have insights and recommendations, especially as
          these might impinge on implicit knowledge transfer, which is what we
          are here for.

          This is a very interesting question: Does the nature of CMC inhibit
          implicit knowledge transfer? And if the imlicit knowledge being
          transfered is about CMC, I would imagine that use of CMC can only
          help. But here again, we await your verdict regarding the various
          knowledge domains we touch on (whatever those are, do we have a
          list?).

          I would also like to say that Webheads is a phenomenon rather than
          being the product of anyone's particular plan. The group has its own
          dynamic and does not aspire so much to be a CoP as to perhaps
          coincidentally be one. If we can learn from CoP theory something to
          improve our group dynamic and IKT, then that would be of benefit to
          all on this list.

          It's great that you are undertaking this study and I offer you all
          possible encouragement and assistance. Let us know when we can see
          something online.

          Vance



          --- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Johnson
          <christopher.johnson@i...> wrote:
          independent
          > variable scheme I developed.
          >
          > 1. Will the study prove whether WIA is a CoP or not?
          > No. The study will weigh aspects that I consider unique to
          distributed
          > CoPs
          > (derived from two years of studying the theory and literature) with
          the
          > data.
          > The results would indicate whether WIA is a CoP, according to this
          > criteria. However, it would take several studies of several
          different
          > distributed CoPs
          > to validate the criteria itself (note: validate my criteria and not
          > WIA).
          >
          > 2. What if WIA does not measure up to the criteria?
          > First of all, this question is very simplistic. There are nine
          criteria
          > over 13 months to
          > "measure up to". There will be trends, fluctations, negative cases,
          > tagential cases, outside
          > influences, and a boatload of other things to consider. The
          conclusions
          > will be complicated,
          > as the whole procedure is.
          >
          > However, consider this. WIA is the first group, virtual or
          otherwise,
          > that has been
          > tested in this way. There have been studies on communication,
          > reflection, facilitation; all
          > of which draw on CoP theory. But no study actually looks at a group
          to
          > determine it is
          > a CoP. So this is a first, and Webheads is that first group. How
          does it
          > feel? :-)
          >
          > There are some conflicting characteristics between CMC and implicit
          > knowledge
          > transfer (knowledge transfer via action or doing). This is an
          > interesting situation to
          > observe in that respect. Does the nature of CMC inhibit implicit
          > knowledge transfer?
          > Here, again, is a first for Webheads.
          >
          > 3. So what's in it for WIA that is concrete and useful for the
          > community?
          > That's a question our resident crank would ask :-) Fair enough,
          > it's a good question. At the end of the analysis, I can make
          > recommendations
          > to keep WIA's "CoPness" alive or make WIA aware of areas they may
          be
          > drifting
          > away from "CoP land", assuming I see any directions
          > WIA is straying from the model.
          >
          > 4. What directions do you think WIA would stray away from the model?
          > No idea. I have to analyze the data and see.
          >
          > Basically, I'm looking at a very complicated phenomenon (WIA)
          through a
          > filtered lens (9 criteria).
          >
          > Looking forward to your comments,
          >
          > Chris
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