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Volume 1 / Issue 3

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Seeing versus Arguing
The Moderating Role of Collaborative Visualization in Team Knowledge Integration

Jeanne Mengis (University of Lugano, Switzerland)

Martin J. Eppler (University of Lugano, Switzerland)

Abstract: This paper sheds light on the communicative process through which experts and decision makers integrate their domain specific knowledge in decision making situations and argues for the benefit of knowledge visualization. We present a second order model for knowledge integration that reflects the main communicative challenges of such interactions. These are: unequal participation, a lack of common ground, a lack of big picture, and an unconstructive handling of conflict. Presenting results from an experimental study, we show that supporting conversations with an interactive visualization tool moderates the relationships of these communicative challenges and knowledge integration. We find that in the supported condition, conversers rely more on the establishment of common ground and big picture and deal more constructively with conflict.

Keywords: co-located conversations, collaborative visual tools,, decision making, knowledge communication, knowledge integration, knowledge visualization

Categories: H.1.0, H.4.3, H.5.3