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Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise

Creating New Kinds of Collaboration

Edited by Michael E. Gorman

Publication Year: 2010

A proposal for a new framework for fostering collaborations across disciplines, addressing both theory and practical applications.

Published by: The MIT Press

Series: Inside Technology

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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1. Introduction: Trading Zones, Interactional Expertise, and Collaboration

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pp. 1-4

The problems and opportunities facing our civilization do not come neatly sorted by disciplines. This book outlines a framework for fostering collaborations among existing expertise communities that have radically different views and practices—what Kuhn called different paradigms, or exemplars (Kuhn 1962). ...

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Part I: Theory

The first chapter that follows is a reprint of an article by Harry Collins, Robert Evans, and Michael E. Gorman that was written after a 2006 workshop on Trading Zones, Interactional Expertise, and Interdisciplinary Collaboration. It presents a synthesis of ideas about trading zones and interactional expertise that emerged, ...

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2. Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise

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pp. 7-24

Peter Galison introduced the term “trading zone” to the social studies of science.1 His purpose was to resolve the problem of incommensurability between Kuhnian paradigms: How do scientists communicate if paradigms are incommensurable?2 Galison’s approach has two legs. ...

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3. Trading with the Enemy

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pp. 25-52

One way to think through what a concept like the trading zone does is to press objections against it, for only then do sharpened boundaries pull foreground from background. Analyzing such confrontations tracks my ideas about these scientific subcultures and exchange languages. ...

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4. Interactional Expertise and the Imitation Game

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pp. 53-70

Interactional expertise provides one solution to the problem of coordination created by the existence of different cultures. Though it is not the only resolution, it has particular relevance for social scientists as it justifies their own status as experts. Put another way, if there was no such thing as interactional expertise, ...

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Part II: Applying Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise to Domains of Practice

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pp. 71-74

Applying the framework of trading zones and interactional expertise to application areas hones and refines the framework while also determining its practical value. Chapters in this part of the volume include applications to service science, business, the environment, and education. ...

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5. Service Science : A New Expertise for Managing Sociotechnical Systems

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pp. 75-106

Service systems, including government, health care, education, retail, and professional consulting, are the fastest growing sector of the global economy—especially information and business services (Spohrer et al. 2007). The service component of the major industrialized economies is greater than 50 percent and growing, ...

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6. From Wizards to Trading Zones : Crossing the Chasm of Computers in Scientific Collaboration

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pp. 107-124

Scientists are the prophets of the modern age. Whereas in the past prophets represented God to the masses, today scientists represent reality. As consumers, we are all quite used to computers as our interface to reality—your phone conversations are transmitted by computers, your bank account is virtual money, ...

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7. Authenticity, Earth Systems Engineering and Management, and the Limits of Trading Zones in the Era of the Anthropogenic Earth

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pp. 125-156

Humans now live in a world that is fundamentally different from anything known from earlier experience. It is a world where the critical dynamics of major earth systems—whether they are predominantly atmospheric, biological, or physical, or, for that matter, cultural, economic, or technological—increasingly bear the imprint of the human. ...

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8. The Evolution of a Trading Zone: A Case Study of the Turtle Excluder Device

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pp. 157-180

Sea turtles are among the best-known marine endangered species, and shrimping is the most profitable U.S. fishery. Thus, the incidental death of sea turtles in shrimp trawls (a problem generally known as bycatch) resembled the clash of two juggernauts, and became one of most controversial problems ever confronted by U.S. fisheries management. ...

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9. A Network States Approach for Mapping System Changes

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pp. 181-208

In this chapter, I describe the use of a three-states network framework, derived from actor network theory, distributive cognitive systems, trading zones, and shared mental models, to describe how a group of University of Pittsburgh researcher-interventionists attempted to promote district alignment on several policy goals ...

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10. Embedding the Humanities in Engineering : Art, Dialogue, and a Laboratory

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pp. 209-230

In this chapter, we discuss the development and pursuit of two interdisciplinary trading zones in which the authors participated: (1) an initial year in which we developed the notion of “humanistic engineering” in the University of Colorado at Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, ...

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11. Can Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise Benefit Business Strategy?

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pp. 231-242

The constancy of change is a hallmark of business. Management spends most of its time initiating numerous minor changes and a few dramatic ones, and hopefully these changes are implemented. The emphasis here is on the word “hopefully,” since the track record of success in regard to substantial changes is somewhat mixed. ...

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Part III: Ethics and Trading Zones

Michael E. Gorman and Patricia H. Werhane demonstrate how trading zones and interactional expertise can be used to avoid normalized deviance in organizations. Normalized deviance occurs when evidence that suggests a problem within an organization is reclassified as normal ...

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12. Using Trading Zones to Prevent Normalized Deviance in Organizations

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pp. 245-264

Peter Galison has developed the notion of a “trading zone” to describe how people from vastly different theoretical, practical, or cultural perspectives can interact meaningfully about subjects which they understand from seemingly incommensurable points of view (Galison 1997). A trading zone is a locus of communication, ...

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13. Viewing Trading Zones Developed to Advance Health as Complex Adaptive Systems

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pp. 265-280

The concept of a trading zone is particularly important today in the health-related research world, where the seeming scarcity of publicly funded health research dollars has resulted in calls for concrete deliverables: useful products and information that is relevant to actual clinical or policy decision-making needs ...

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14. Creating Trading Zones across Continents and Economies : The Female Health Company

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pp. 281-288

Chapter 12 in this volume, by Michael E. Gorman and Patricia H. Werhane, borrowing from Peter Galison (1997), defines a trading zone as a locus of communication, often involving the development of a jointly understood “pidgin” or “creole” between individuals or groups of individuals whose background or theoretical points of view were vastly different ...

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15. Conclusion: Future Research on Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise

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pp. 289-296

This volume is not an end but a beginning. The 2006 workshop on Trading Zones, Interactional Expertise and Interdisciplinary Collaboration was followed by two workshops on Studies of Experience and Expertise (SEE), held by Harry Collins and Rob Evans at Cardiff. ...


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pp. 297-302

E-ISBN-13: 9780262289436
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262514835

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Inside Technology