Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione

Knowledge integration in face-to-face communication and the moderating effect of a collaborative visualization tool

Mengis, Jeanne ; Eppler, Martin J.

This paper sheds light on the communication process through which experts and decision makers integrate their domain specific knowledge in decision making situations and argues for the benefit of software-supported visualization of contributions. Understanding both decision making and knowledge integration as communicative processes, we present a short review of literature on the concept of... Plus

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    Summary
    This paper sheds light on the communication process through which experts and decision makers integrate their domain specific knowledge in decision making situations and argues for the benefit of software-supported visualization of contributions. Understanding both decision making and knowledge integration as communicative processes, we present a short review of literature on the concept of knowledge integration. Based on this review, we present a model for knowledge integration and discuss an experimental study which provides a first empirical evaluation of the model. In the proposed model, knowledge integration is reflected by the resolution of four conversational challenges – equal participation, big picture thinking, establishing common ground, and constructive conflict. We argue that the modality of the conversation impacts on the importance of the single elements of knowledge integration. We show that – when supporting conversations with an interactive visualization tool –- conversation partners rely more on the construction of the big picture and of the common ground, and less on conflict and equal participation. Furthermore, the handling of conflict is more constructive than in the nonsupported situation. An experimental study tests and confirms both the model for knowledge integration and the moderation effect of the use of the interactive visual tool.