Beyond Boundary Objects: Collaborative Reuse in Aircraft Technical Support

TitleBeyond Boundary Objects: Collaborative Reuse in Aircraft Technical Support
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsLutters, WG, Ackerman, MS
JournalComputer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing
Date Published06/2007
Keywordsboundary objects, collaborative work, expertise sharing, high reliability organizations, hotlines, information reuse, knowledge sharing, organizational memory, safety, service engineering, technical support

Boundary objects are a critical, but understudied, theoretical construct in CSCW. Through a field study of aircraft technical support, we examined the role of boundary objects in the practical achievement of safety by service engineers. Their resolution of repair requests was preserved in the organization’s memory via three compound boundary objects. These crystallizations did not manifest a static interpretation, but instead were continually reinterpreted in light of meta-negotiations. This suggests design implications for organizational memory systems which can more fluidly represent the meta-negotiations surrounding boundary objects.