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Socio-cognitive aspects of interoperability: Understanding communication task environments among different organizations

NCJ Number
Gyuhyun Kwon; Tonya L Smith-Jackson; Charles W. Bostian
Date Published
December 2011

Although interoperable technology has been researched from many perspectives and has shown that it is possible to connect different organizations, there remain many issues in terms of socio-cognitive aspects. Thus, this study examines the socio-cognitive dimensions of interoperability, which equal the technical dimensions of the problem in importance.


The existential-phenomenological study reported here used semi-structured interviews to reconceptualize interoperability in the public safety communication domain. Based on 11 interviews with public safety workers, five important factors were identified that have a major impact on the effectiveness of interoperable groups: information sharedness, operational awareness, communication readiness, adaptiveness, and coupledness. Based on these main concepts, high-level suggestions are provided to guide the design of a new public safety communication system. The results can be directly applied to identify the requirements of communication systems and can be extended to design collaboration systems under stressful environments. (Published abstract provided)