Analysis of Cooperative Work for Design of Information Systems

Jens Rasmussen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


Information technology is presently changing human work conditions in several respects. The level of mechanization and automation is steadily increasing, computers are used for planning and control of integrated manufacturing systems, computer based inter-faces are inserted in between humans and their work content, and advanced communication networks serve to integrate the operation of large-scale distributed systems. In this situation, the ergonomic issue is not primarily the human-computer interaction in a separate tool or 'application,' but the joint influence of technology on work conditions, work organization, and management structures. A new approach to analysis of work is needed together with a new frame of reference for strategical planning and design of socio-technical systems based on advanced technology. In this situation, a modelling framework to be useful for design of information systems for advanced socio-technical systems, cannot be based on analysis of work in procedural terms. It should, instead, serve the identification of a resource envelope within which an agent can navigate also in unforeseen situations. The identification of such an envelop depend on separate representation of the work domain, the generic cognitive decision tasks,and the useful strategies for such decision tasks together with the subjective criteria of choice. Furthermore, the criteria adopted by the agents for dynamic work allocation and co-ordination should be explicitly represented. The paper reviews the requirements of such a modelling framework and concludes with the proposal that new research paradigms are needed in several areas, such as methods for work analysis, for modelling decision making in dynamic, real time environments, and for analysis of work organization and management structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of International Conference on User Interfaces of the 21st Century
Number of pages15
Publication date1989
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on User Interfaces of the 21st Century - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 1 Sep 1989 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on User Interfaces of the 21st Century
Period01/09/1989 → …


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