January 25, 2009

Research Proposal on Analysing Virtual Collaborative Interaction Activity: How to Develop Collective Intelligence


1.0  Background of the Study

Virtual collaboration refers to the collective effort of two or more people forming together to accomplish a task or goal without the necessity of face to face interaction. With sharing at its core, virtual collaboration allows as many people to collaborate on ideas, topics and/or projects. As such, virtual collaboration is an opposite to 'brick and mortar' environment by which it facilitates flexible, creative and innovate exchange of ideas. Internet telephony, telepresence, videoconferencing and teleconferencing are the four primary activities virtual collaboration. These are commonly implemented during presentations and corporate meetings and discussions. For this research, we are going to consider telepresence which refers to the set of technologies that allows an individual to give the look that they were present at a location other than the true location. Telepresence provides a real environment use to interact with another live and in real-time.  

Collective intelligence, on the other hand, may conform to different meanings. Collective intelligence may refer to the capacity of human to evolve into a higher order complexity and integration or the cognitive synergy wherein more inclusive pictures of reality emerge from diverse perceptions or the phenomenon associated with distributed individual intelligences that have access to their collective output and thought processes through their co-generative participation. In different levels or groups within the organisation there are diverse levels of collective processes. Such processes could either flourish or detriment the organisation depending on how each group or team could effectively apply and convert their knowledge into actions. In optimising their decision-making process, it is necessary that the people must understand how collective intelligence could influence them optimistically.


2.0  Statement of the Problem

The problem that will be addressed in this research is the degree of effectiveness of telepresence as a virtual collaborative activity with respect to the development of collective intelligence. The key question that will be addressed in this research is: To what extent does telepresence contribute in the progress of collective intelligence within the group and organisations? In lieu with this, the following research questions will be addressed.

1)     How telepresence advance coordination, cooperation and cognition among a group of people?

2)     Under what circumstances does telepresence prove to be viable in improving collective intelligence?


3.0  Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this research is to analyse a virtual collaborative activity which is telepresence and how it contribute to the development of collective intelligence within groups. Specifically, the research purports on evaluating how telepresence further the collective development between groups in terms of cognition, coordination and cooperation. Likewise, to assess the situations wherein telepresence serves as an important tool in the growth of collective intelligence will be also addressed.


4.0  Research Methodology

This study will use interpretivism as its main research philosophy. Descriptive research will be used in the study. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and process that are on-going, effects that are being felt or trends that are developing. In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994).

For validation purposes, the researcher will pre-test a sample of the set survey questionnaires by conducting an initial survey to at least five respondents. After the respondents have answered the questionnaire, the researchers will then ask them to cite the parts of the questionnaire that needs improvement and if necessary, the researcher will even ask for suggestions and corrections. The researcher, afterwards, will again examine the content of the survey/interview questions to find out the reliability of the instrument so as to determine irrelevant questions that have to be discarded.


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