Browsing Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (JCSCW) by Issue Date
1 - 20 of 699
Results Per Page
- Journal ArticleCan organisations afford knowledge?(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 3, 1992) Anderson, R.; Sharrock, W.“Affordance Theory” has been widely discussed as a potential resource for the design of interfaces for CSCW and other systems. In this paper, we discuss the extension and adaption of this concept beyond the psychology of perception to the social distribution of a common stock of knowledge. We suggest that a working division of labour as that is known, oriented to, and rendered visible by the management of space and artifacts within a working environment can “afford” knowledge of organisational routines and practices. Learning to see the working division of labour is coming to understand the organisation. The grounds for extending the concept in this way are derived from consideration of an actual example taken from fieldwork. Some implications for the design of CSCW systems are reviewed.
- Journal ArticleWhy do users like video?(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 3, 1992) Tang, John C.; Isaacs, EllenThree studies of collaborative activity were conducted as part of research in developing multimedia technology to support collaboration. One study surveyed users' opinions of their use of video conference rooms. Users indicated that the availability of the video conference rooms was too limited, audio quality needed improvement, and a shared drawing space was needed. A second study analyzed videotapes of a work group when meeting face-to-face, video conferencing, and phone conferencing. The analyses found that the noticeable audio delay in video conferencing made it difficult for the participants to manage turn-taking and coordinate eye glances. In the third study, a distributed team was observed under three conditions: using their existing collaboration tools, adding a desktop conferencing prototype (audio, video, and shared drawing tool), and subtracting the video capability from the prototype. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected by videotaping the team, interviewing the team members individually, and recording their usage of the phone, electronic mail, face-to-face meetings, and desktop conferencing. The team's use of the desktop conferencing prototype dropped significantly when the video capability was removed. Analysis of the videotape data showed how the video channel was used to help mediate their interaction and convey visual information. Desktop conferencing apparently reduced e-mail usage and was perceived to reduce the number of shorter, two-person, face-to-face meetings.
- Journal ArticleSupporting cooperative applications(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 1-2, 1992) Rodden, T.; Mariani, J. A.; Blair, G.Cooperative applications which have started to emerge from CSCW research place new demands on the computer technology used to support them. These demands raise a number of fundamental questions about the way in which computing systems provide application support. This paper examines a number of issues surrounding the support of cooperative applications and how they impact both CSCW and computer science research. In particular, the relationship between cooperative applications and the supporting techniques of distributed systems and database technology are investigated. Cooperative applications question many of the design assumptions embodied within these techniques, and ask far reaching questions of the technology. Traditionally, support systems have been unaware of cooperative activities and have hidden the actions of others from each user. This paper examines the implications of this choice and the need to consider alternative approaches to the provision of systems support. The paper concludes by highlighting a number of issues which need to be addressed both by computer science and CSCW reseachers.
- Journal ArticleFrom ethnographic record to system design(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 3, 1992) Hughes, John A.; Randall, Dave; Shapiro, DanThis paper explores the issues involved in moving from ethnographic explorations of work in context to a practical contribution to system design. It does so using the example of an interdisciplinary research project involving sociologists and computer scientists in the domain of air traffic control systems. It forms a pair with another paper (Sommerville et al., 1992) exploring these questions from the perspective of our computer science partners. We characterise ethnography as a research method, and consider the differences between undertaking it for strictly sociological or anthropological purposes by contrast with interdisciplinary and design purposes. We summarise some of our results in ethnographic explications of the work of air traffic controllers, and the sociality which it manifests. We describe the dialogues involved in rendering these observations ‘informative’ for systems design, and the mutual translations implied in attempting to reconcile sociological with software engineering questions about supporting the work. We conclude by specifying some features of cooperative work which an engineering approach is in danger of overlooking; the ways, and limits, in which ethnographers can form a ‘bridge’ between users and designers; and some of the conflicts of interest entrained in generating technical change.
- Journal ArticleTaking CSCW seriously(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 1-2, 1992) Schmidt, Kjeld; Bannon, LiamThe topic of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) has attracted much attention in the last few years. While the field is obviously still in the process of development, there is a marked ambiguity about the exact focus of the field. This lack of focus may hinder its further development and lead to its dissipation. In this paper we set out an approach to CSCW as a field of research which we believe provides a coherent conceptual framework for this area, suggesting that it should be concerned with the support requirements of cooperative work arrangements . This provides a more principled, comprehensive, and, in our opinion, more useful conception of the field than that provided by the conception of CSCW as being focused on computer support for groups. We then investigate the consequences of taking this alternative conception seriously, in terms of research directions for the field. As an indication of the fruits of this approach, we discuss the concept of ‘articulation work’ and its relevance to CSCW. This raises a host of interesting problems that are marginalized in the work on small group support but critical to the success of CSCW systems ‘in the large’, i. e., that are designed to meet current work requirements in the everyday world.
- Journal ArticleBlurred partitions but thicker walls(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 4, 1992) Snellen, I.; Wyatt, S.In this paper, we explore public administration as a site of use for Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) applications, and outline the particular opportunities and challenges that CSCW and public administration pose for each other. We argue that public administrations in modern democratic societies are in both their organizational structures and their activities subservient to legal and political norms in a way that is different from private organizations; therefore, public administration cannot slavishly emulate CSCW applications that have proven themselves in a private context. Public administrations have to assess forms of CSCW in the light of the normative structure that is specific for them. We argue that the introduction of CSCW will further the tendencies to bureaucratisation and skew power biases towards public administration and away from the citizen. We give evidence for this contention on the basis of a comparison of different national attempts to introduce CSCW in Social Security offices in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden. Although each of these countries is inspired by different ideals about the relationship between state and citizen in the social security sector, the influence of CSCW in all three cases goes in the same direction.
- Journal ArticleConstructing the ‘Dossier Représentatif’(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 4, 1992) Schneider, Karin; Wagner, InaThis paper analyzes the complex nature of collaboration in hospitals. Information-sharing under different technological regimes and work organizations is examined with special attention to the role of different types of screen-based records. The need for supporting local practices, professional distance and the different world views of the medical and nursing staff and administrators is stressed. Four meanings of information sharing based on the idea of a ‘dossier réprésentatif’ are explored: (i) a core document of basic patient-related data which is shared by all organizational units and professions; (ii) using the (real time) transfer of data across a distributed environment to strengthen the opportunity for, dialogue; (iii) computer support for ‘browsing’ through a variety of folders that embed different practices; (iv) a unified dossier shared by a bounded collaborative ensemble.
- Journal ArticleSurvey of collaborative drawing support tools(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 3, 1992) Peng, ChengzhiAlong with recent experiments in the design of communication or computer tools for supporting various kinds of group working, the development of collaborative drawing systems has emerged as a notable research area within the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. This paper reports a survey of the experiments in collaborative drawing support tools with an objective of reviewing how the issues of supporting collaborative design have been addressed by the research prototypes. The survey is presented in three parts: (1) findings from the observations of group interaction in drawing and design activities, (2) a framework for classifying the design issues experimented with by prototypes developers, and (3) a categorisation of the current prototype systems by interrelating the patterns of group use observed with the system features classified. The survey indicates that there are currently at least three different strategies of developing collaborative drawing support tools, which reflect the existence of diversified understanding and technological responses to what and how human collaboration in design may be supported.
- Journal ArticleCollaboration and control - Crisis management and multimedia technology in London Underground Line Control Rooms(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 1-2, 1992) Heath, Christian; Luff, PaulDespite technical advances over the past few years in the area of systems support for cooperative work there is still relatively little understanding of the organisation of collaborative activity in real world, technologically supported, work environments. Indeed, it has been suggested that the failure of various technological applications may derive from their relative insensitivity to ordinary work practice and situated conduct. In this paper we discuss the possibility of utilising recent developments within sociology, in particular the naturalistic analysis of organisational conduct and social interaction, as a basis for the design and development of tools and technologies to support collaborative work. Focussing on the Line Control Rooms in London Underground, a complex multimedia environment in transition, we begin to explicate the tacit work practices and procedures whereby personnel systematically communicate information to each other and coordinate a disparate collection of tasks and activities. The design implications of these empirical observations, both for Line Control Room and technologies to support cooperative work, are briefly discussed.
- Journal ArticleNegotiating temporal orders(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 4, 1992) Egger, Edeltraud; Wagner, InaThis paper focuses on time management as a cooperative task. Based on an analysis of the cultural complexity of scheduling surgical operations in a large clinic, possibilities of using information technology are explored. A computer system can be used to facilitate and change the negotiation of resource deployment in complex organizations by a) providing an integrated view of time management problems and decision-making within a complex organization, and b) by improving coordination. The paper discusses some design options for such a system which combines negotiation support with an auromatic sheduling device and critically examines the rationale for an organization to accept and implement such a system.
- Journal ArticleOn the social organisation of organisations(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 1-2, 1992) Jirotka, Marina; Gilbert, Nigel; Luff, PaulThis paper considers a range of theoretical approaches to the understanding of organisations and the implications these views have for the design of computer supported cooperative work systems. Organisations have often been seen as structures which can be divided into hierarchically ordered parts or as networks of informal relations. Organisational theorists have also considered organisations to resemble organisms with needs for survival in potentially hostile environments or as information processors, with decision-making as their most important characteristic. More recently, developments in the social sciences have suggested that radical reconceptualisations are necessary for the study of work settings. Consequently, these developments have attracted attention due to their potential to inform system design. This paper reviews some of these efforts and comments on some of the outstanding problems that have to be overcome if studies of everyday work settings are to inform the design of systems to support collaborative work.
- Journal ArticleCoordinating computer-mediated work(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 1, No. 4, 1992) Rogers, YvonneCoordination of inter-dependent work activities is central to CSCW. However, little is known about how people coordinate their work activities, especially when confronted with computer systems that are intended to support collaboration. This paper examines how a close-knit group of engineers attempt to collaborate when managing a networked system whilst at the same time trying to maintain coordination of their interdependent work activities. Drawing from theoretical constructs developed in distributed cognition, an analysis is presented that contrasts the role played by common objects and mediating mechanisms in coordinating such activities with the negotiative practices that emerge when they break down. The implications of the problematic and dynamic nature of coordination is subsequently discussed in relation to CSCW design.
- Journal ArticleCategories, disciplines, and social coordination(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 3, 1993) Winograd, TerryLucy Suchman's paper, “Do categories have politics,” challenges the validity of speech act theory as a basis for computer systems for workflow support. Suchman fears that the explicitiness of the theory leads to undue discipline when it is applied in practice. Her fear is grounded in a misunderstanding of what it means to use such a theory, and this paper clarifies the difference between formal comprehensive models of behavior and formal structures used in communication and recording, Explicit speech act theory, like explicit accounting procedures, enforces a kind of uniformity that is necessary in any communication situation where ambiguity and vagueness cannot be routinely resolved through direct personal contact and knowledge. The practicalities of large geographically distributed organizations makes the appropriate use of shared structuring a precondition for effective cooperation.
- Journal ArticleSocial control and social contract in networking(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Klein, H. K.; Kraft, PhilipNetworks can be understood as organizational control strategies. As an example, we present two case studies of team-based networking strategies associated with the Total Quality Management movement in the United States. TQM's implied social contract requires some form of power sharing. In practice TQM team organization can also become another form of labor intensification. Similarly, TQM appeals to democratic values by emphasizing participation, communication, cooperation and team work. Such claims can also serve to legitimize major organizational changes, some of which follow familiar Taylorist patterns. Two cases illustrate how the technical components of communications systems help redefine control systems in TQM-based work rerganization experiments. In the manufacturing setting, communications took the form of web-and-hub networks, centralizing off-site engineering control of production workers. In the design and engineering workplace, peer-to-peer communications implemented by self-managed teams reduced intellectual ‘slack time’. In both cases the communications systems provided means to intensify labor.
- Journal ArticlePreface to the special issue of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) on ‘networking’(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Clement, Andrew; Wagner, Ina
- Journal ArticleDo categories have politics?(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 3, 1993) Suchman, LucyDrawing on writings within the CSCW community and on recent social theory, this paper proposes that the adoption of speech act theory as a foundation for system design carries with it an agenda of discipline and control over organization members' actions. I begin with a brief review of the language/action perspective introduced by Winograd, Flores and their colleagues, focusing in particular on the categorization of speakers' intent. I then turn to some observations on the politics of categorization and, with that framework as back-ground, consider the attempt, through the coordinator , to implement a technological system for intention-accounting within organizations. Finally, I suggest the implications of the analysis presented in the paper for the politics of CSCW systems design.
- Journal ArticleOvercoming social awareness in computer-supported groups(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 4, 1993) Weisband, SuzanneWe examined status effects in face-to-face and computer-mediated three-person groups. Our expectation that low status members in computer-mediated group discussions would participate more equally, and have more influence over decisions, than their counterparts in face-to-face groups was not confirmed. The results suggest that knowledge of status differences and labels were used to form cognitive impressions of other group members. It seems that when group members are aware of the status characteristics of the group, social cues were magnified rather than redüced. Implications of these findings for mixed status cooperative work groups and for the design of computer communication systems are discussed.
- Journal ArticleMediated collaborative research?(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Sanderson, DuncanSeveral countries are currently in the process of planning and implementing advanced network infrastructures in the scientific and education communities. One of the objectives of this action is to facilitate collaborative research. In this paper, we closely examine the feasibility of this objective, by: 1) noting the claims of the proponents of the high speed academic networks 2) circumscribing the notion of collaborative research, 3) examining the current role of communication technologies in collaborative research, 4) identifying the possible obstacles to attaining this objective, and 5) presenting and analyzing a case study of a distributed research group and the implementation of a desktop videoconference system. The results of the case study tend to reinforce and extend previous observations concerning potential implementation difficulties of network technologies. Furthermore, the study suggests that the social dynamics in some collaborative research groups may complicate the introduction of new network technologies and limit their use.
- Journal ArticleThe LookingGlass distributed shared workspace(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 3, 1993) Scrivener, S. A. R.; Clark, S. M.; Keen, N.This paper describes a shared workspace system known as the LookingGlass. The system allows pairs of geographically distributed designers to work together in real-time via a computer-based shared drawing surface, a video link and an audio link. The system integrates many of the features found in previous shared drawing surface systems and additionally provides eye-to-eye contact between the users; awareness of onea's partner's direction of gaze in relation to oneself and the worksurface; and the ability to communicate using gestures in relation to the worksurface. These features are achieved in the LookingGlass system using a technique referred to as ‘video-overlay’ which combines a full screen video image of a remote partner with a full screen shared drawing surface. Various configurations of video-overlay have been explored and the results of these studies are presented. The results of trials into the suitability of the LookingGlass for various types of design work are also presented and described.
- Journal ArticleGDSS' formative fundaments(Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 4, 1993) Whitaker, RandallA hermeneutic analysis of current group decision support systems (GDSS) is undertaken, interpreting their functionality, motivations, and usage to uncover theoretical/philosophical bases. GDSS treat decision making as a rational aggregation-and-selection of options ( take a given ) and support it as a production task conducted as if participants were remotely distributed. Employing a venue framework , this is analyzed as evidence for consistent, fundamental cognitivism and objectivism deriving from relevant historical influences. The contextualization and dialogic interaction ( give and take ) undervalued or ignored in current GDSS are identified as key issues for work toward constructively augmenting such systems.