DISTRIBUERADE KUNSKAPSPROCESSER I LEDNINGSCENTRALER VID NÖDSITUATIONER
- koordination och situationsmedvetenhet
som för avläggande av filosofie doktorsexamen vid Universitetet i Linköping kommer att offentligen försvaras i sal Elysion, hus T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Fredagen den 5 mars, 1999, kl. 10.15
This thesis contributes to an understanding of how people work in co-ordination centres for controlling dynamic environments. It examines several theoretical perspectives that have been used to analyse cognition, co-operation and technology within dynamic decision-making. The author finds that all these perspectives contribute to specific parts of the puzzle, but that no theoretical approach alone seems to give a thorough and coherent understanding of how the parts hang together. From this stance the perspective of distributed cognition is examined, as it seems to be a promising approach for such aspects. The distributed cognition approach has been constructed in order to explain and describe how cognition is distributed over artefacts and people and how each part contributes to the system's functionality. This approach is examined from its explicit theoretical constituent parts, but is also developed in regard to the concepts of co-ordination and situation awareness.
The notion of co-ordination is analysed as the way in which agents relate to each other, in terms of institutional organisation as well as in terms of the contribution of technical means and co-operation practices.
Situation awareness is a theoretical construct developed from a cognitive psychology perspective that has mainly been used in aviation research to explain people's awareness of environmental factors and future developments in the environment. The limited notion of situation awareness that cognitive psychology offers is criticized, but is then developed in order to include system characteristics such as information access, procedures to investigate the environment, representational artefacts and communication between different actors.
The empirical material used consist of video-recordings from a full-scale simulated military command and control unit, an authentic emergency co-ordination centre as well as two experiments with computer-aided microworlds. These microworlds have been used as a means of further investigating hypotheses that have been constructed from analyzing real-world co-ordination centres. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses have been carried out.
Field studies and microworld studies complement each other. Microworlds are not as constrained as traditional laboratory experiments are, but at the same time they are not as variable as real-world situations. Studies within microworlds also have the advantage that several aspects of environments that are both costly and dangerous can be examined safely and economically.
Results include the following points: (i) co-ordination is dependent upon what material resources the actors have and use, as well as on each individual's knowledge and the goals of the system (ii) situation awareness should be regarded as a constructive process (iii) situation awareness and co-ordination practices should be regarded as interdependent (iv) situation awareness is dependent upon information processing procedures and information representation.
Keywords: Dynamic Decision Making, Distributed Cognition, Distributed Decision Making, Coordination, Communication, Cognition, Emergency Management, Command and Control, Microworld, Situation Awareness
The Tema Institute - Department of Communication
Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
ISBN 91-7219-418-9 ISSN 0282-9800