Resource title

On being collectively in charge: the social contract and diffuse collaboration

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Resource description

Observations of patterns of interactions in copier rooms conducted at 3 different sites showed that making copies is a collective activity involving many people engaged in what the authors have come to call diffuse collaboration. Despite this major common characteristic, they found very different patterns of interactions at the 3 sites. The paper provides an explanation of these differences based on the variation in spatial arrangements and organizational structures. It shows that the orchestration of diffuse collaboration varies with, and is a reflection of, the organizational context. It argues that as organizational management flattens, dedicated resources for support shrink or vanish. Therefore, the resources available to people for getting the support they need to operate machines such as copiers must adjust correspondingly. The logical solution of having everyone responsible for evrything is expensive, inefficient, and in principle, impossible. The authors claim that a workable solution is available through creating organizations where everyone is "collectively in charge" and argue for building a Social Contract as a way of achieving it.

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Resource language

en

Resource content type

application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2002/2002-07.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved