Jack Whalen

Jack Whalen
Aalto University · Department of Design

PhD

About

52
Publications
22,259
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1,275
Citations
Introduction
Jack Whalen is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Design at Aalto University in Helsinki and former (retired) small-scale fisheries program director for Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, an international NGO. Previously, Jack was a Principal Scientist at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center where he led ethnographic studies of workplaces and customer sites. And prior to that, Jack was Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oregon.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - present
Aalto University
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
January 2016 - December 2020
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
Position
  • Project Manager
Description
  • Project: Improving Indonesia’s Blue Swimming Crab Fishery While Identifying Measures to Mitigate the Socioeconomic Costs of Improvement
September 2010 - December 2018
Aalto University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
September 1977 - August 1984

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
Full-text available
This paper studies intelligibility in constructive design research, in which the main instrument of knowledge creation is design. Constructive design research is situated between design practice and research, meaning it has to build on practices that make it intelligible to many audiences. We call this multiple intelligibility, examining it through...
Article
Full-text available
Collaborative arrangements between users and designers today are enacted in a broadening array of circumstances. These include extended, even years-long projects within corporations, the public and third sectors, as well as open-ended, peer-to-peer open design initiatives. Building on a literature review and analysis of four concrete participatory...
Article
Full-text available
People not only purchase and use products and services, but creatively appropriate, hack, redesign and even innovate in them. Typologies of active use have emerged in various disciplines, remaining piecemeal even if complementary. Together they produce a blurry depiction of active design engagement, despite active use being pivotal to many emerging...
Article
Full-text available
By examining mobility in remote Arctic areas, we analyze how challenging environmental conditions – while affecting technology performance – evoke people’s creativity and efforts as technology users. Based on historical materials and ethnographic observations of user inventiveness in the transport sector in Russian North, we define and document a p...
Article
Full-text available
We report on a rapid and practical method to assess social dimensions of performance in small-scale and industrial fisheries globally (Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT)). SWIFT incorporates aspects of security (fairness and stability of earnings, benefits of employment to local fishing communities, worker protection, and personal safety an...
Presentation
Full-text available
Blue swimming crab fisheries in Indonesia have been under high pressure for several years: quasi- open access, weak management and weak enforcement are some of the key reasons explaining the recent a stark increase in catch jeopardizing the sustainability of the resource. In January 2015, a multi stakeholder workshop was organized in Semarang to di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In creating a ‘Plant Hotel’ — a public site where people can check-in their plants when they go travelling, and people who are then passing by can water and care for the plants — we are not intending to develop or test a solution to some daily problem but rather to create a collective platform to encourage the emergence of new social relations betw...
Article
Full-text available
Using the case of calls-for-help to police and fire communications centers and their incident record forms, we present a detailed investigation of how documents play a constitutive role in formal organizations. We take an ethnomethodologically informed approach to the problem, delineating how standard forms in bureaucracies enable organizational pa...
Article
Full-text available
Self-organizing and collaborative activities are increasingly considered as promising alternatives for accessing goods and services responding to ecological and economic challenges, especially since 2008 economic crisis. In line with such currents that give serious appreciation for self-organizing practices, some design theorists have been explorin...
Book
Full-text available
In the 1970s, Xerox pioneered the involvement of social science researchers in technology design and in developing better ways of working. The Xerox legacy is a hybrid methodology that combines an ethnographic interest in direct observation in settings of interest with an ethnomethodological concern to make the study of interactional work an empiri...
Chapter
Full-text available
It is widely recognized that an organization's most valuable knowledge, its essential intellectual capital, is not limited to information contained in official document repositories and databases – scientific formulae, “hard” research data, computer code, codified procedures, financial figures, customer records, and so forth – but also includes the...
Chapter
Full-text available
It is shortly after eight a.m. on Monday morning, and Nan has just settled into her cubicle at a large call center operated by INK Corporation – a Fortune 500 company – that is dedicated to customer service and support. Work at her center is divided into three different organizations that are responsible for customer support. One organization handl...
Article
Full-text available
One commonly tends to avoid making “obvious” observations because it is not obvious what thereafter is to be done with them…. Rather, we need to see that with some such mundane recurrences we are picking up things which are so overwhelmingly true that if we are to understand that sector of the world, they are something we will have to come to terms...
Chapter
Preface This chapter differs from all others in this volume in that it describes a three-year PARC project with Fujitsu – named here as the “PARC Knowledge Management Project” – from the point of view of our partner organization. Authored by the Fujitsu leader on the project, Koji Kishimoto, it provides a detailed account of the difficult situation...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction A critical feature – and resource – of many face-to-face service encounters is a ubiquitous bureaucratic document, the ‘standard form’ (see especially Suchman and Whalen 1994). But despite Max Weber's classic observations of the crucial role played by written documents (‘the files’) and the work of those who generate and administer the...
Article
We detail an ongoing, consultancy partnership, where ethnographic field methods are being used to elucidate the work practices of software engineers in a large organization. We focus on intellectual and logistical challenges that we face as a team – non-collocation; widely varying experience of ethnographic methods, local language and culture; and...
Article
Full-text available
‘New Information Systems’ is an emerging field composed of social studies of science (STS), information sciences (IS), workplace studies and technological design, and new media forms such as cyberinfrastructure or eResearch. Within this area we are exploring the connections and inter-relationships between empirical studies of information at knowled...
Article
Full-text available
In 2004 Fujitsu asked PARC to carry out an ethnographic investigation of their software business, focusing on their development processes, and while doing so to build an ethnographic capability in their own organization. One of our biggest challenges was to convince Fujitsu's system engineers — and the development organization more generally — of t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In our ethnographic investigation of software integration projects a recurrent pattern emerges. The detailed understanding leaders have of the design and development decreases over time as they become busier and busier attending meetings, creating documents, and resolving issues and thus cannot spend much time on design or development work. As a re...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
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Service technicians in the field often come across difficult service problems that are new to them. They have a large number of resources that they can draw on to deal with such problems, including both people and documents. We have undertaken a detailed study of technicians' everyday work, and have discovered two distinct types of information use,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a detailed account of a knowledge-sharing system in practice. The Eureka system leverages the practical know-how and inventions of frontline employees, with the goal of helping the entire organization learn from their experience. This system and its enabling technology were developed through several iterations using a distinctiv...
Article
Full-text available
This naturalistic study of the ordinary work practice of sales representatives employed by the call centre of a large office-equipment company focuses on the actions of those sales reps during their calls with customers. We show how this work performance is organized through an improvisational choreography of action involving not only the turn-by-t...
Article
Full-text available
Writings on knowledge management and, more generally, the role of "knowledge" or "intellectual capital" in organizations have tended to present abstract epistemological models concerning types of knowledge or differences between "information" and "knowledge," with anecdotal examples loosely used to illustrate the ideas and their business significan...
Article
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This paper focuses on a particular type of emotional display known in the vernacular as "hysteria," and on the "socio-logic" of such an affective state. Using calls to 9-1-1 as a case study, we discuss the ways in which the notion of "hysteria" is used in a particular occupational milieu and in certain situations to assess and account for a person'...
Article
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Cet article presente une recherche sur l'organisation sociale des appels publics aux services d'urgence et se concentre sur la fonction constitutive de la conversation au cours de l'« appel au secours ». Les auteurs examinent comment ces sujets de conversation peuvent eux-memes devenir problematiques pour les interlocuteurs. Leur rapport est centre...
Book
Full-text available
Amid the social and political turmoil of the late 1960s, student demonstrations on college campuses and in nearby communities looked like a prelude to apocalypse. By 1970 radical students at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), were involved in burning the Bank of America branch in Isla Vista and a series of riots and demonstrations...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on research into the social organization of citizen phone calls to emergency service agencies, focusing on the constitutive function of talk in the activity of “calling for help.” We explore how these occasions of talk can themselves become problematic events for members. Our report centers on the detailed analysis of a single, v...
Thesis
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of California, Santa Barbara, 1984.

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