Computer Systems and the Design of Organizational Interaction
F. Flores, M. Graves, B. Hartfield, and T. Winograd

Oct 22, 1999


Language interpretation

Informal language uses lots of implicit pre-understood information.

Control the social interaction vs. support the social interaction

The Coordinator

  1. enforces formal communication, acts more within the social interaction control
  2. forces the explicit declaration of language structure
  3. favors a 'stable' social structure over a 'flexible' social structure
  4. ...and they are proud of it!

Conversation is the basic unit.

To ask, to answer, or just to remain quiet has meaning independent of the question, answer. Silence is often an answer, even by itself (without gestures or other communication mechanisms)

How can coordinator support mixed communication (the request is done electronically, but the counter-offer is done in a lunch meeting)? This will require formal use of the system such that all messages are answered electronically. The conversation is not performed exclusively in one medium.

Coordinator is married to a given management ontology. This limits its usefulness, since there are other management ontologies that are not supported (and the case is that those other theories are in vogue nowadays).

As they notice, coordinator does not fit well in flexible dynamic organizations, and that affects its usefulness in a society where flexibility is a must.

Educational or dogmatic software?