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Paper w78-2011-Paper-91:
Understanding collective intelligence of construction project actors within a social network technology

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I Mutis

Understanding collective intelligence of construction project actors within a social network technology

Abstract: The disjointed group of actors who team up to work on a project constitutes a collective entity that is represented by social networks. The advancement of social network technologies enhances the researcherís ability to understand individual and collective actions in order to effectively solve problems, make decisions, enrich knowledge, and reach consensus. These technologies enable the interfacing of actors who belong to the project network in order to facilitate the execution of project activities in collaboration. Since the aggregation of either individual or collective actorsí actions constitutes project activities, this research investigates the nature of these actions within a project organization, defined as a social structure that is represented as a project network through a web-enabled social network system. The actions form and reveal patterns that are scrutinized as routines within the project organizations. Of particular interest to this research are the potential gains in the efficiency, profits, and effectiveness of satisfactorily executed routines as an aggregation of actions. Moreover, this new kind of collective intelligence allows for the exploration of how actions performed through a web-enabled social network system may collectively act more intelligently than they have done before. It is critical, therefore, to scientifically explore actions within web-enabled social network environments through the study of routines executed by (1) single actors and (2) the aggregate of single individual actors. For this purpose, we developed theoretical constructs as framework for collective intelligence. Articulated by human-centered actions, four main constructs are involved in the framework: (1) social actors and communities of practice, (2) social structures, or organizations, (3) social objects as forms of representation of information, and (4) web-enabled social network technology. Examples of expected benefits are the facilitation of group strategies to reach decisions and control of group performance.

Keywords: Collective-intelligence, social networks, routines, social actors, communities of practice.


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