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Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics
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 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)




SPECIAL ISSUE



TABLE OF CONTENTS





The Collaborative Future
Thomas Marlowe, Norbert Jastroch, Susu Nousala, Vassilka Kirova
Pages: 1-5
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Collaboration has become an important goal in modern ventures, across the spectrum of commercial, social, and intellectual activities, sometimes as a mediating factor, and sometimes as a driving, foundational principle. Research, development, social programs, and ongoing ventures of all sorts benefit from interactions between teams, groups, and organizations, across intellectual disciplines and across facets and features of the inquiry, product, entity, or activity under consideration. We present a survey of the state of collaboration and collaborative enterprise, in the context of papers and presentations at the International Symposium on Collaborative Enterprises 2011 (CENT 2011), and the extended papers appearing in this special issue.


Towards the definition of a Science Base for Enterprise Interoperability: A European Perspective
Keith Popplewell
Pages: 6-11
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Research on Enterprise Interoperability (EI) has evolved to meet real pragmatic needs to support the ever more collaborative nature of, for example, enterprise supply chains, and virtual enterprises. Research outputs have therefore focused on generating solutions to current problems, rather than to developing a body of knowledge which is structured for ease of re-use. In Europe there is move to define just such a structure: an Enterprise Interoperability Science Base (EISB). We explore here the current state of this ongoing research, reviewing the understanding gained so far, and looking to the likely future outcomes. However this is clearly not just a European research domain. The main purpose of presenting the European perspective is to stimulate interaction with researchers in all regions who have an interest in the domain. We therefore address three issues. We review the development of neighbouring sciences, identifying science base structures, and methodologies for their development. The definition and objectives of a science base are analysed, leading to an outline structure for an EISB to include formalised problem and solution spaces as well as structured EI domain knowledge. Twelve Scientific Themes of EI are identified and the current state of research in each is briefly discussed.


A Methodology for Engineering Competencies Definition in the Aerospace Industry
Laura Fortunato, Serena Lettera, Mariangela Lazoi, Angelo Corallo, Giovanni Pietro Guidone
Pages: 12-17
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
The need to cut off lead times, to increase the products innovation, to respond to changing customer requirements and to integrate new technologies into business process pushes companies to increase the collaboration. In particular, collaboration, knowledge sharing and information exchange in the Aerospace Value Network, need to a clear definition and identification of competencies of several actors. Main contractors, stakeholders, customers, suppliers, partners, have different expertise and backgrounds and in this collaborative working environment are called to work together in projects, programs and process. To improve collaboration and support the knowledge sharing, a competencies definition methodology and the related dictionary result useful tools among actors within an extended supply chain. They can use the same terminology and be informed on the competencies available. It becomes easy to specify who knows to do required activities stimulating collaboration and improving communication. Based on an action research developed in the context of the iDesign Foundation project, the paper outlines a competency definition methodology and it presents examples from the implementation in Alenia Aeronautica company. A new definition of competency is suggested supporting by a new method to specify the structural relationship between competencies and activities of aeronautical processes.


Plato, Socrates, Hunt, and Rotfeld: Eigenforms of Academic Collaboration
M Louise Ripley
Pages: 18-23
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
A number of academic institutions profess to offer Interdisciplinary Studies but few truly achieve it, and not without a great deal of effort over and above the normal workload of a professor and a level of patience and perseverance not found in many university students. This paper will report on a successful academic collaboration between two very different disciplines: philosophy and business. It will examine a course taught jointly by the two disciplines in a strategy of imbrication attempted by a college of York University in Toronto, Atkinson College, housing both liberal arts and professional school.


Collaborative Integration of Classic Applications in Virtual Reality Environments
Andreas Kopecki
Pages: 24-29
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
When working collaboratively with others, it is often difficult to bring existing applications into the collaboration process. In this paper, an approach is shown how to enable different applications to work collaboratively. It enables a user to do three things: First, the ability to work collaboratively with the application of choice, selecting those applications that fit the need of the scenario best, and the user is comfortable to employ. Second, the user can work in the environment he chooses, even if the application is not specifically designed for this environment like Virtual Reality Environments or mobile devices. Third, the technology presented makes it possible to mesh applications to gain new functionalities not found in the original applications by connecting those applications and making them interoperable. Taking a Virtual Reality Environment and a standard office application, the use and fitness of this approach is shown. It should be specifically noted that the work underlying this paper is not specifically on multimodal usage of Virtual Environments, although it is used that way here, but rather showing a concept of meshing application capabilities to implement “Meta-Applications” that offer functionality beyond their original design.


Inter-organizational Collaboration: Product, Knowledge and Risk
Norbert Jastroch, Vassilka Kirova, Cyril S. Ku, Mojgan Mohtashami, Thomas J. Marlowe, Susu Nousala
Pages: 30-35
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Inter-organizational collaboration is no longer entirely a free choice, but is close to a necessity imposed by economic, technical, and knowledge-related concerns. A deep understanding of collaboration will assist in making intelligent decisions on entering, operating, and evaluating collaborative ventures. The nature of the partners—industrial corporations, consultants, academic institutions and others—and the collaborative structure are important, but so too is the nature of the product. We consider its effects in the collaborative domain on knowledge, intellectual property, and catastrophic risk.


Dams, Flows and Views: Cross-Aspect Use of Knowledge in Collaborative Software Development
Norbert Jastroch, Vassilka Kirova, Thomas Marlowe, Mojgan Mohtashami
Pages: 36-40
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Collaboration between organizations raises significant knowledge management issues, especially in software development of complex projects, in which both product and process are themselves knowledge. While research has examined direct, explicit flows of knowledge within project aspects, or forward between aspects, there is less investigation of the need and support for backward, implicit or emergent flows.


Metrics Are Needed for Collaborative Software Development
Mojgan Mohtashami, Cyril S. Ku, Thomas J. Marlowe
Pages: 41-47
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
There is a need for metrics for inter-organizational collaborative software development projects, encompassing management and technical concerns. In particular, metrics are needed that are aimed at the collaborative aspect itself, such as readiness for collaboration, the quality and/or the costs and benefits of collaboration in a specific ongoing project. We suggest questions and directions for such metrics, spanning the full lifespan of a collaborative project, from considering the suitability of collaboration through evaluating ongoing projects to final evaluation of the collaboration.



A Cooperation Model Applied in a Kindergarten
Jose I. Rodriguez, Pablo Nuño
Pages: 48-56
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
The need for collaboration in a global world has become a key factor for success for many organizations and individuals. However in several regions and organizations in the world, it has not happened yet. One of the settings where major obstacles occur for collaboration is in the business arena, mainly because of competitive beliefs that cooperation could hurt profitability. We have found such behavior in a wide variety of countries, in advanced and developing economies. Such cultural behaviors or traits characterized entrepreneurs by working in isolation, avoiding the possibilities of building clusters to promote regional development. The needs to improve the essential abilities that conforms cooperation are evident. It is also very difficult to change such conduct with adults. So we decided to work with children to prepare future generations to live in a cooperative world, so badly hit by greed and individualism nowadays. We have validated that working with children at an early age improves such behavior. This paper develops a model to enhance the essential abilities in order to improve cooperation. The model has been validated by applying it at a kindergarten school.


Collaborative Engineering of Inter-Enterprise Business Processes
Gunter Teichmann, Eva-Maria Schwartz, Frank-Michael Dittes
Pages: 57-64
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Enterprise 2.0 and cloud computing are two of the last years most popular topics. Researchers and Business Analysts see great opportunities and potential for a kind of business application revolution. Unfortunately the revolution has not started yet due to different reasons – for example the lack of concepts for integrating new ideas into the already known principles. We are convinced that combining the power of cloud computing with principles of social networking and methodology of business engineering will open new horizons for the global value creation. This paper describes a concept how cloud computing technology can be used to support new ways of inter-enterprise collaboration using the example of logistics.


Do I know where I am going and why? Connecting Social Knowledge for Governance and Urban Action
Susu Nousala, Amir Morris, William Hall, Roger Hadgraft
Pages: 65-76
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
This paper seeks to expand our focus to understand how communities can assemble and manage knowledge to support more rational decisions regarding government services and actions in the community environment. We focus on the knowledge transfer interface between communities and urban councils, with a view to extending theoretical understanding of such transfers, and the socio-technical knowledge support systems interfacing between action groups and councils. Utilizing theory from several previous domains we discuss how science does not exist in a vacuum. It is surrounded by philosophy, theology (although not always popular to recognise today) and art as a beginning. These diverse areas have undergone parallel developments and as they do so the tools and techniques to investigate and explore these areas have also progressed in parallel. Following the movement of the modern western world this paper utilizes a broad comparison using science, branches of mathematics, philosophy and art, with additional comparisons with theology. Knowledge management - an often abused expression - is more than just data collection, in- formation presentation, or simple pathways beyond this. Rather it involves the efficient juxtaposition of background information and the value adding of presentation to enhance explicit understanding in a dynamic manner. This paper goes one step further than normally considered, by investigating approaches to cognition in the data management areas and human cognition requirements and advantages. As society evolves, the requirements for successful presentation of data evolve, and yet the raw data amounts can also be effectively presented in new and more compressed manners. So the total information presented can actually increase exponentially and may become easier to understand. Finally explicit modern examples are utilised to demonstrate the effect of the altered approaches through the distinct time periods and a simple juxtaposition of the technological tools available in each period are utilised to enhance the data presentations. The end results are considered and the effect that the technology may have made to the recording and use of the data and it


Tacit Knowledge Generation and Inter-Organizational Memory Development in a Supply Chain Context
Iskander Zouaghi
Pages: 77-85
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
In recent years, particular attention has been paid to knowledge management and organizational learning in general and tacit knowledge management and organizational memory in particular. This interest is driven by saturation of various markets, innovation speed and increasingly uncertain environments that have led companies to organize and structure themselves as parts of supply chains, by focusing on their core competencies and outsourcing non value-added and less strategic activities. Developing distinctive competencies under such circumstances comes from tacit knowledge learning, creation and memorization. In this paper, we first analyze tacit knowledge from different perspectives; we show how individuals and organizations can learn from tacit knowledge and how they also create new relational and collaborative tacit knowledge from individual, organizational and inter-organizational learning. We then explore how this knowledge can be capitalized into inter-organizational memory which is independent of individuals and organizations within the supply chain.


Video conference platforms: A tool to foster collaboration during inter-organizational in vivo simulations
Cecilia Lemus-Martinez, Louise Lemyre, Paul Boutette, Jo Riding, David Riding, Celine Pinsent, Colleen Johnson
Pages: 86-90
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
Inter-organizational problem solving of emergencies and extreme events are complex research fields where scarce experimental data is available. To address this problem, the Inter-GAP In Vivo System, was developed to run behavioural experiments of complex crisis. The system design and testing included three categories of participants: for pilot testing, first year university students; for theoretical validity, college students engaged in emergency management programs; and for field validity, expert decision makers who managed major crises. A comparative assessment was performed to select the most suitable video conferencing software commercially available, since it was more cost-efficient to acquire a tool already developed and customized it to the experiment needs than it was to design a new one. Software features analyzed were: ease of use, recording capabilities, format delivery options and security. The Inter-GAP In Vivo System setup was implemented on the video conference platform selected. The system performance was evaluated at three levels: technical setup, task design and work flow processes. The actual experimentation showed that the conferencing software is a versatile tool to enhance collaboration between stakeholders from different organizations, due to the audiovisual contact participants can establish, where non verbal cues can be interchanged along the problem solving processes. Potential future system applications include: collaborative and cross – functional training between organizations.


Connections, Information and Reality: Thinking about the internet of things
Ben Van Lier
Pages: 91-97
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
The number of connections between people, organizations and technology is proliferating rapidly, and the amount of information they produce, exchange and share is increasing accordingly. These connections and the information they produce are defining and shaping our daily life and work and our perception of reality. Computers in all forms are becoming smaller and less visible, but they are omnipresent. This development of information technology ‘everyware’, as Greenfield calls it, is also referred to as ubiquitous computing. With the development of ubiquitous computing, computers not only disappear from our perception, but also from our experience. When these new and almost invisible technological devices are tied together, for instance in the Internet of Things, the information resulting from that connection will be more than the sum of its parts. The Internet is the place where subjects are connected and where they exchange and share information. With the development of the ‘Internet of things’, the Internet will also connect objects and enable them to exchange and share information. In this Internet of the future, subjects and objects are more and more connected in random coalitions and networks on the basis of information. These new connections and their seamless exchanging and sharing of information will challenge traditional organizational structures. The information produced in networks will be used for changes to our existing reality and will help create a new reality. Will this development of subjects and objects connected in networks raise new questions and challenges for science and for the development of knowledge within a changing reality?


Conceptions and Context as a Fundament for the Representation of Knowledge Artifacts
Thomas Karbe
Pages: 98-103
Abstract | Full Text
ABSTRACT:
It is a well-known fact that knowledge is often not objective and not context-independent. However, in many application systems knowledge is treated as objective and independent. In this paper it is argued that subject and context dependencies of knowledge need to be re ected in knowledge representation. Bernd Mahr