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UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF INTERACTIVE VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS ON GROUP COMMUNICATION - AN ASSESSMENT IN THE EXPERIENCE SHARING CONTEXT

abstract Visual communication tools, such as diagramming or mapping software, have become more widely used in group communication in the last years, empowering interpersonal communication through new means of interaction. Initial research has shown that graphic representations can improve communication in organizations. Yet it is still not clear which characteristics make visual representations a valuable communication tool. The aim of this project is to open the black box of interactive visualizations by testing the effects of one specific and highly relevant dimension, namely a visualization’s “restrictiveness”, conceived as the interaction constraints imposed by a graphic template for joint mediated actions. To investigate this dimension, we focus on the communication task of experience sharing in small groups, as this is a crucial and challenging task for many professional contexts (ranging from project management, to intercultural cooperation, to general team work).

While there are several studies that document the communicative and cognitive benefits of visual representations, there are hardly any publications that show how these advantages (such as increasing participants’ contribution, inviting more diverse contributions, augmenting recall of discussed items, and reducing group conflict) translate into benefits for experience sharing in groups. Thus, our research question is: What is the impact of the restrictiveness of an interactive visual representation on the process and outcome of experience sharing in groups and does the cultural diversity (of a group) mediate this relationship?
   
keywords experience sharing, knowledge management, visualization, management, management teams, knowledge sharing, restrictiveness, nsf project, knowledge visualization, interactive visualization, visualization software, cscw
   
homepage http://www.knowledge-communication.org
partner
type fundamental research project
status ongoing
start of project 2013
end of project 2015
additional informations
topics Management
methods Experiment
profile area SoM - Business Innovation
contact Martin J. Eppler