Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Proceedings of the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Information Science and Technology

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This study examines how design engineers and technical professionals (hereafter referred to as engineers) in innovative high‐tech firms in the U.S. and India communicate and use information in their daily work activities including research, development, and management. By observing engineers in the workplace, it extends our understanding of the engineering workplace, and the information environment in the workplace. This study will provide information useful for improving communication and information methods for accessing information and communicating in the workplace, which will ultimately lead to better job performance, facilitate innovation, and encourage economic growth. This poster focuses on the methodology the researchers used to gather data for the study. Researchers conducted a series of daylong workplace observations with 108 engineers engaged in product design and testing in four U.S. and two India based firms. Using naturalistic observation provided researchers with the ability to see engineers in their workplace carrying out their daily work rather than depending on self‐reported data which may be incomplete. The poster focuses on the naturalistic observation method, how it was employed, and lessons learned in conducting the work in the U.S. and India.

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