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Applying Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise to Domains of Practice 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. Michael E. Gorman and Jim Spohrer’s chapter on service science looks at one possible new field that might emerge out of an astonishingly wide range of existing disciplines , focused on the future of services. The motivating problem is how the producers of services and their clients can create together new sociotechnical solutions that solve existing problems or create new opportunities. This approach changes the old model, in which clients demand and producers provide, into a collaboration between producers and clients, where the roles themselves begin to blur. IBM and other organizations are promoting a new field of service science, management, and engineering (SSME). The central question of Gorman and Spohrer’s chapter is whether such a new field is necessary, and what SSME expertise might encompass. Jeff Shrager discusses the ways software has increasingly become a mediator bridging the chasm between scientists and reality. In his chapter, Shrager outlines three decades of attempts to bridge a related chasm—between scientists and their instruments . In order to use modern scientific instruments, scientists often have to work with programmers. In order to bridge this chasm for one field, Shrager decided to go beyond the acquisition of interactional expertise by actually becoming a molecular biologist to see if dual training was the answer: perhaps molecular biology and computer science should be combined. He made a deal to do computational work for biologists in exchange for being trained to do their sort of research—a very simple trading zone. Shrager succeeded in learning enough molecular biology to become a contributory expert, but he found most of his time was spent doing computational work because the biologists did not become familiar with his expertise. At this point he became aware of the extent II 72 Applying Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise to Domains of Practice of the chasm between biology and computation. His next attempt was to design BioBike, a tool that biologists could use easily to perform their own computations. Though BioBike has been very useful to Shrager and other computer scientists helping biologists, it has not to date been picked up by the biologists themselves as a standalone tool. BioBike has, however, facilitated trading zones between biologists and programmers, acting as a kind of hybrid of a creole and a boundary object. Brad Allenby’s chapter focuses on the anthropogenic earth, arguing that what has traditionally been regarded as nature is part of a global sociotechnical system. Allenby pays particular attention to the way in which ideology can prevent a trading zone— not everyone wants to trade—and he himself criticizes the idea of the trading zone because it depends on “enlightenment and Western values.” The activity of trading in areas where cultures make contact is as old as civilization, but Allenby reminds us to be aware of the assumptions behind the current use of the term, especially when applied normatively. Lekelia D. Jenkins’s chapter applies the framework of trading zones and interactional expertise to the problem of reducing marine bycatch. For example, the kinds of nets traditionally used for catching shrimp also accidentally catch sea turtles, which are considered bycatch in this situation. Jenkins uses the trading zone and interactional expertise framework to diagram the trajectory of attempts to reduce turtle bycatch, starting with dominance by the National Marine Fisheries Service but progressing to a more equal trading zone, in which the experience of the fishers was incorporated into at least one device design. There was even a boundary organization that acted as a kind of interactional expert (the Turtle Excluder Device Voluntary Use Committee). Jenkins proposes that a new trading zone had to develop to ensure adoption of the new Turtle Excluder Device design; yet, even though agreement was reached among representatives of key stakeholders, this agreement was repudiated by the broader community. Jenkins concludes with a new diagrammatic representation of types of trading zones and the trajectories among them, thereby using her case study to revise the framework in ways that will drive future research. Matthew M. Mehalik applies the trading zone framework to a project designed to produce a scorecard, or set of metrics, for a large urban public school district in a city in the western...


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MARC Record
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