I’m pretty excited to announce that my grant that I collaborated with Dr. Davide Bolchini titled, “Designing Collaborative and Transparent Work Information Systems” has been awarded $494,286 by the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Human Systems Program. This grant will help us examine how to better design collaborative and transparent work information systems.
Research advances have enabled innovations in collaborative work information systems that can keep track of employees and contractors in domains such as ride sharing. For instance, after drivers login to begin a work session, riding sharing computers keep track of cars, customers, and ride locations. Such systems enable accurate payments to drivers and create work histories that are shared among managers, drivers, and clients. In many other work domains, such as home care, delivery, farm work, and child care, transparent collaborative information systems do not exist, leaving work environments open to inaccurate compensation, conflict over work requirements or behavior, or even exploitation. This project will examine the needs of workers, employers, and managers for collaborative and shared reporting, and opportunities for innovative technology to create such systems. The project will lead to fundamental understanding of collaboration in work information for traditional and new forms of work that currently lack accurate and transparent measures of the work hours, effort, or performance on which compensation is based.
This project requires fundamental research and application development in three potential key intervention areas: (1) technologies to enable worker education concerning worker and employer rights and responsibilities; (2) systems that could collect shared work data for workers, employers, and managers while protecting individual privacy and confidentiality, and (3) empirical evaluations to assess effectiveness as well as understand potential risks or undesirable indirect consequences of work-related data collection. Researchers will prototype and test these systems mainly in work environments, such as farm work, custodial work, and restaurants services. The project will lead to a better understanding of the potential for technology to help create better jobs for workers, and aid managers and employers to create responsive, transparent, and equitable business and work environments.