Using Social Network Analysis to Support Collective Decision-Making Process

Publisher:
I G I Global
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, 2011, 3 (2), pp. 15 - 31
Issue Date:
2011-01
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Current traditional technologies, while enabling effective knowledge sharing and accumulation, seem to be less supportive of knowledge organization, use and consensus formation, as well as of collaborative decision making process. To address these limitations and thus to better foster collective decision-making around complex and controversial problems, a new family of tools is emerging able to support more structured knowledge representations known as collaborative argument mapping tools. This paper argues that online collaborative argumentation has the rather unique feature of combining knowledge organization with social mapping and that such a combination can provide interesting insights on the social processes activated within a collaborative decision making initiative. In particular, the authors investigate how Social Network Analysis can be used for the analysis of the collective argumentation process to study the structural properties of the concepts and social networks emerging from users interaction. Using Cohere, an online platform designed to support collaborative argumentation, some empirical findings obtained from two use cases are presented.
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