Center for Coordination Science @ MIT


CCS Home  |  Working Papers   |  What's New?  |  People  |  Links  | Site Map  |  Comments

NOTE: If an electronic version of a paper is not available here, or you are unable to successfully download the paper that you want in the formats available, please contact MIT Document Services at (617) 253-5668, DOCS@MIT.EDU. Please do not contact the authors for copies of papers.


2002 Working Papers

CCS No. 217, Sloan No. 4244-02

Peer to Peer File Sharing Systems: What Matters to the End Users?

Jintae Lee

April 2002

Peer-to-peer systems have been received much attention recently. However, few studies have examined what makes them successful from the user point of view. For example, how important is the interface for the success of a peer-to-peer system? How serious is the free-loading problem for the end user? This article reports a study examining end user perception of the features in peer-to-peer file sharing systems. First, it discusses the motivation for the study. Section 2 then describes the details of the study including the data collection and the analysis methods used. In particular, it identifies twenty-six features of peer-to-peer file sharing systems and examines how these features are perceived by the end user in similarity and in importance. Section 3 presents the results, interpretations, and an overall picture relating the system features to the traditional software requirement categories. The final section explores potential implications

CCS No. 218, Sloan No.

A Coordination-Theory Approach to Exploring Process Alternatives for Designing Differentiated Products

Naoki Hayashi and George Herman

May 2002

This paper describes a new systematic method for exploring and evaluating alternatives of a product design process for differentiated products - those that share some elements but also have differentiating features. Based on coordination theory, the method clarifies the opportunities and risks of process alternatives. The method consists of three steps:
1) finding applicable differentiation approaches, 2) finding applicable patterns of process coordination, and 3) evaluating total costs of the process alternatives.
We categorized the differentiation approaches as a taxonomy of design processes; the taxonomy includes approaches of adding or removing differentiating elements or sorting results. We also categorize how these are limited by type of interim resource in a design process. We outline three patterns of process coordination and how this interacts with the choice of product differentiation approaches. We show how the process alternatives vary in the success rate of the coordination and how this probability affects total cost of executing a design process. It raises an awareness of the importance of managing dependencies between activities, which many process analyses don’t focus on.

CCS No. 219, Sloan No. 4251-02

Information Technology Fashions: Building on the Theory of Management Fashions

Jintae Lee and Emilio Collar

June 2002

Recent studies of management fashions have used discourse data that contributed to our understanding of the forces underlying the rise and fall in popularity of new management techniques. Like management fashions, there are many IT (information technology) fashions. Testing the extent to which the theory of management fashions apply to IT fashions help us better understand not only IT fashions but also what is generic to the fashion phenomenon and what is unique to particular fashions like IT or management fashions. This study makes a step toward that goal by postulating and testing three hypotheses concerning the similarity and difference between IT and management fashion lifecycles: that IT fashions depend more heavily - relative to management fashions - on exogenous factors. As a result, the duration of its ascent period is (1) shortening over time, (2) shortening at a rate faster than that for management fashions, (3) but yet longer in absolute magnitude than that for management fashions. A bibliometric study yields partial confirmation, illustrating the usefulness of the theoretical framework provided by the theory of management fashion in the study of IT fashions while revealing unique characteristics of IT fashions that deserve further investigations.


CCS No. 220, Sloan No. 4323-02

Temporary assignments and a permanent home: A case study in the transition to project-based organizational practices

Robert Laubacher and Thomas W. Malone

December 2002