Performance in Collaborative Activity: Contribution of Intersubjectivity Theory

Philippe Fauquet-Alekhine, Saadi Lahlou


Collaboration at work is a key component for activities in complex socio-technical systems. Reviewing the scientific literature showed that collaborative work activity has been well characterized, showing that perspective-taking is a crucial feature, but no study quantifies what makes the performance of collaborative activity. Analyzing performance during work activity inevitably refers to Cognitive Task Analysis paradigm (CTA). Based on digital ethnography and Intersubjectivity Theory, the study was undertaken in a nuclear power plant where cooperative activities were analyzed using a CTA process tracing method: whilst performing their activity, workers wore a miniature camera at the eye-level to record their activity from the first-person perspective and were then involved in a reflexive analysis of the activity. Results led to introduce the concept of “coherent perspective-taking” and demonstrated that it was the main variable explaining collaborative performance for cooperative activities. The related theoretical process is discussed and organizational factors favoring coherent perspective-taking are identified.

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