The role of coordinating knowledge in expert coordination
Claggett, Jennifer Lee
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This dissertation seeks to understand how experts in the healthcare context know how to coordinate, how that knowledge affects coordination, and how information systems interplay with the coordination process. In order to address these questions we explore the meta-knowledge around the coordination process and introduce coordinating knowledge as information that enables a person to identify how to exchange information to achieve a shared goal. Specifically, this set of knowledge enables coordination by allowing the actors to know the involved actors, the timing, the content, and the method, in order to coordinate. To study this phenomenon, we recognize that the coordination process is a series of coordination instances, and we use the coordination instance as our unit of analysis. We dissect each component of coordinating knowledge into fourteen more actionable component-specific types of coordinating knowledge and identify four sources of coordinating knowledge (coordination mechanisms, domain expertise, team familiarity, and team awareness) that individuals draw upon in order to coordinate. By specifying these 14 types of coordinating knowledge, we are able to develop propositions of the effects of each on the performance of a coordination instance. Using the coordinating knowledge framework as a new lens, we explore how coordinating knowledge can be embedded in or enhanced by information systems, and develop propositions about these effects. Though the primary focus of the dissertation is on theory building, to provide preliminary empirical evidence for the existence of coordinating knowledge and our propositions, we gather data via qualitative research methods about 289 coordination instances in the healthcare context. Examples of coordination instances that confirm our propositions are discussed. Next, we perform quantitative analyses to test our propositions further, and conduct two types of post-hoc analyses to explore the patterns and relationships of coordinating knowledge. We conclude with an in-depth discussion of our findings and the future research possibilities that the coordinating knowledge framework brings to light.
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