Sustainable Collaborative Research Activities: A System’s Approach to the implementation of e- Conferencing for Lower Carbon Footprint
The growing need for environmentally sustainable remote collaborative research is often addressed using the ‘if you build it they will come’ model, where the provision of e-conferencing technology is believed to instigate changes in practices and the replacement of face-to-face meetings with virtual ones. More comprehensive approaches where nontechnical variables were addressed tended to follow a binary trend which classified variables as drivers and barriers. The report challenges these approaches arguing that there is a need to break away from any binary models, and that processes of adopting technology should be viewed as complex systems comprised of interdependent relationships between various factors. The report describes the findings of a one year project which set out to identify the technical and non technical variables entailed in the process of uptake, and chart the routes through which they interrelate. Emerging from this work is a System’s approach based analysis of uptake processes where variables entailed are perceived as participants in subsystems within a greater system embracing the process as a whole. Acknowledging the strategic difficulties entailed in implementing such an approach, the report proposes a new method which enables decision makers attempting to implement econferencing tools to prioritise clusters of factors aggregated into subsystems. The prioritisation of subsystems is achieved through the adoption of concepts from Social Network Analysis (SNA), and illustrated using Graph Theory techniques. The method enables to administer the implementation process in manageable yet interconnected parts of a multi factor system. The report concludes that the method described here can serve as a generic model for the implementation of diverse innovations and the introduction of changes to practice and culture they prompt.
SubjectsFields of Research::370000 Studies in Human Society
- Arts: Reports