Situation Awareness Through Social Collaboration Platforms in Distributed Work Environments

In distributed work environments, collaborators often lack situation awareness, which can be described as knowledge about what is happening in an individual’s work environment. Thus, information systems are needed to support situation awareness between distributed workers. However, despite its relevance, the concept lacks the clear theoretical understanding needed for a rigorous specification and evaluation of such systems. Based on a systematic literature review, we therefore develop a conceptual model to improve understanding of situation awareness in distributed collaboration. We demonstrate how the model may be utilized by evaluating an existing social collaboration platform regarding its ability to support situation awareness. Therefore, we develop an operationalization of the model and analyze the content of more than 15,000 enterprise microblogging messages obtained from a major international bank. The results provide first evidence, that enterprise microblogging might be an appropriate solution to overcome the issue of situation awareness in distributed collaboration.