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Title: Social awareness and self-representation in workplace technologies
Author: Andre, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 1982
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Social interactions in the workplace can help improve our mood as well as forge new connections, collab- orations, or friendships. The benefits are not just personal, improving group welfare and connectedness may aid job satisfaction and performance. As social interactions are increasingly performed through mul- tiple channels, often digitally mediated, interactions with eo-workers and the information that underpins them are evolving along with the workplace. The increased amounts of information and the variety of mediums suggests exciting new possibilities for combining and utilising information in different forms, as well as making connections with others. On the other hand, people lead faceted lives, representing them- selves differently depending on audience and social context. With increasingly unified online identities and connected information, boundaries within our lives become blurred, creating potentially awkward or damaging situations if information is shared out of context or self-presentation is impeded. To design for the potential benefits of social awareness in the workplace, while taking into account the complex identity, social, and physical environments we construct, we bring together three strands of work and viewpoints from multiple disciplines, drawing from organisational behavior, HCI and CSCW, and social psychology. We consider tensions in information capture and representation, designing for non- task-focused sociality in the workplace, and sensitivity to sharing information in particular contexts. This thesis explores these issues through three projects. The first two take existing practices: asking 'how are you?', and office decoration, and augment digitally to provide self and group awareness. We undertake user evaluations to understand experience and benefit, and discuss implications for self-presentation, encoding, ambiguity, and agency. The third project explicitly addresses those implications, investigating audience reaction to social media. We find that despite a focus on social awareness, designs were often appropriated in terms of self- presentation issues, or benefits in self-awareness. We propose social awareness applications can be con- sidered in two dimensions (expression and interpretation), and by three actors (self, other, or automatic). We discuss tensions, risks, and benefits of information representation (e.g., encoding versus ambiguity), how the medium of interaction affects use and perception of non-task-focused technologies in a workplace, and the nature of the physical environment when introducing digital technologies. We suggest future work in understanding perception over time, what information is most suitable at what time, and how actor (self, other, automatic) may most beneficially combine with what information representation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available