Robert E. Kraut

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Since its inception, the software industry has been in crisis. As Blazer noted 20 years ago, “[Software] is unreliable, delivered late, unresponsive to change, inefficient, and expensive … and has been for the past 20 years” [4]. In a survey of software contractors and government contract officers, over half of the respondents believed(More)
Under-contribution is a problem for many online communities. Social psychology theories of social loafing and goal-setting can provide mid-level design principles to address this problem. We tested the design principles in two field experiments. In one, members of an online movie recommender community were reminded of the uniqueness of their contributions(More)
Wikipedia's success is often attributed to the large numbers of contributors who improve the accuracy, completeness and clarity of articles while reducing bias. However, because of the coordination needed to write an article collaboratively, adding contributors is costly. We examined how the number of editors in Wikipedia and the coordination methods they(More)
Micro-task markets such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk represent a new paradigm for accomplishing work, in which employers can tap into a large population of workers around the globe to accomplish tasks in a fraction of the time and money of more traditional methods. However, such markets typically support only simple, independent tasks, such as labeling an(More)
<italic>In this paper, we describe the influence of physical proximity on the development of collaborative relationships between scientific researchers and on the execution of their work. Our evidence is drawn from our own studies of scientific collaborators, as well as from observations of research and development activities collected by other(More)
Though social network site use is often treated as a monolithic activity, in which all time is equally social and its impact the same for all users, we examine how Facebook affects social capital depending upon: (1) types of site activities, contrasting one-on-one communication, broadcasts to wider audiences, and passive consumption of social news, and (2)(More)
Coordinating software tasks across geographic locations is difficult because of factors like: limited opportunities for interaction, lack of contextual references, and leaner communication media. Team cognition research suggests that team knowledge helps members coordinate because they can anticipate task issues more accurately, communicate more efficiently(More)
This study assessed the value of two video configurations-a head-mounted camera with eye tracking capability and a scene camera providing a view of the work environment-on remote collaboration on physical (3D) tasks. Pairs of participants performed five robot construction tasks in five media conditions: side-by-side, audio-only, head-mounted camera, scene(More)
Collaborations in organizations thrive on communication that is informal because informal communication is frequent, interactive, and expressive. Informal communication is crucial for the coordination of work, learning an organization's culture, the perpetuation of the social relations that underlie collaboration, and, in general, any situation that(More)