Support systems in use for coordination of advanced on-the-ground work activities

Sammanfattning: This dissertation is about support systems in use for coordination of advanced on-the-ground work activities. Focus is given to work in domains of health care and manufacturing. Both computer and paper-based information and communication technologies (ICT) are found to play an important role for coordination of nurses' and machinists' every-day actions. Within the vast field of Computer Science (CS), design and development of computer systems for support of coordination is an important undertaking. The research and development communities of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) provide practical and conceptual tools of interest for this study. In the research projects of which I am a participant and in the research community of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), use of ICT in a work context is a central concern. My interest is then oriented towards coordination, not in ordinary office environments, but in health care and manufacturing where the core accomplishment is realised in treatment or transformation of a material work object. This means a focus on documents as an expression of coordination and as integrated in a flow of work. My studies over a period of eight years, with nurses and partly with CNC machinists, have resulted in collection of a rich empirical material. Ethnographic studies, CS and the conceptual framework of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) provide data, the theoretical ground and methodological guidelines in this thesis work. From the outset, the design of computer-based prototypes for nurses' documentation tasks are designed and tested. Further, the thesis highlight studies of employed and integrated technologies in the workplace, and wrap up with contributions to the design of computer support systems.

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