JCSCW Vol. 10 (2001)

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  • Journal Article
    Alan J. Munro, Kristina Höök and David Benyon (eds.), Social Navigation of Information Space
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 1, 2001) Fraser, Mike
  • Journal Article
    Hunting for the Treasure at the End of the Rainbow: Standardizing corporate IT Infrastructure
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 37135) Hanseth, Ole; Braa, Kristin
    This paper tells the story of the definitionand implementation of a corporate informationinfrastructure standard within Norsk Hydro.Standards are widely considered as the mostbasic features of information infrastructures –public as well as corporate. This view isexpressed by a high level IT manager in Hydro:``The infrastructure shall be 100% standardized.'' Such standards are considered universalin the sense that there is just one standardfor each area or function, and that separatestandards should fit together – no redundancyand no inconsistency. Each standard is sharedby every actor within its use domain, and it isequal to everybody. Our story illustrates thatreality is different. The idea of the universalstandard is an illusion just like the treasureat the end of the rainbow. Each time one hasdefined a standard which is believed to becomplete and coherent, during implementationone discovers that there are elements lackingor incompletely specified while others have tobe changed to make the standard work, whichmakes various implementations different andincompatible – just like arbitrary non-standardsolutions. This fact is due to essentialaspects of standardization and infrastructurebuilding. The universal aspects disappearduring implementation, just as the rainbowmoves away from us as we try to catch it.
  • Journal Article
    Distributed High-End Audio-Visual Content Creation: An Experience Report
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 2001) Meliones, Apostolos; Karidis, Antonis
    In the recent years the world has witnessed an unprecedented expansion in the global audio-visual industry and actions have been initiated to strengthen its actors, especially in filmmaking and video production. Companies seeking ways to improve their performance and productivity and become more competitive are investing in modern digital technologies. High-performance computingsystems are found today even in small production facilities. Yet, little effort has been used to implement activities other than production/post-production and even less tointegrate the whole cycle of contentdevelopment and creation within a networkedcollaborative environment. This paper reportsthe experience of the DAViD project aiming toestablish ways to interact and collaborate during pre-production phases. Several benefitshave been demonstrated, such as reduction ofthe overall production time and cost, increasedproductivity and increased ability to executecomplex, multi-company productions in shortertimes and lower budgets.
  • Journal Article
    Unpacking a Timesheet: Formalisation and Representation
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 37135) Brown, Barry A.T.
    While the use of formal systems has been animportant topic within CSCW, their use as representations has been relatively neglected.This paper, using ethnographic data from aBritish oil company, investigates howrepresentations are used. In the companystudied an electronic timesheet system wasimplemented to be used by staff to account fortheir work. Looking at this system in useprovides insights on what changes whenprocesses are computerised. In particular, thecomputerised system used inflexiblecomputerised rules to enforce a division oflabour between the accountants who ran thesystem, and those who filled in theirtimesheets. However, this rigidity was not apurely negative feature; it helped theaccountants who ran the system to do``representational work'', and establish theaccuracy of the timesheet system. Looking intothe politics of this system in use illustratesthe danger of generalising the relationshipbetween formalisation and power.
  • Journal Article
    Shift Changes, Updates, and the On-Call Architecture in Space Shuttle Mission Control
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 37135) Patterson, Emily S.; Woods, David D.
    In domains such as nuclear power, industrialprocess control, and space shuttle missioncontrol, there is increased interest inreducing personnel during nominal operations. An essential element in maintaining safeoperations in high risk environments with this`on-call' organizational architecture is tounderstand how to bring called-in practitionersup to speed quickly during escalatingsituations. Targeted field observations wereconducted to investigate what it means toupdate a supervisory controller on the statusof a continuous, anomaly-driven process in acomplex, distributed environment. Sixteenshift changes, or handovers, at the NASAJohnson Space Center were observed during theSTS-76 Space Shuttle mission. The findingsfrom this observational study highlight theimportance of prior knowledge in the updatesand demonstrate how missing updates can leaveflight controllers vulnerable to beingunprepared. Implications for mitigating riskin the transition to `on-call' architecturesare discussed.
  • Journal Article
    Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 1, 36951) Randall, D.W.
  • Journal Article
    Work Practices Surrounding PACS: The Politics of Space in Hospitals
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 2, 37043) Tellioğlu, Hilda; Wagner, Ina
    This paper uses a case study of collaborative work practices within the radiology department of a hospital, for examining the usefulness of spatial approaches to collaboration. It takes a socio-political perspective on understanding the shaping effects of spatial arrangements on work practices, and seeks to identify some of the key CSCW issues that can be addressed in spatial terms. We analyse the spatial settings or layers (physical, digital and auditory) within which work takes place, and the qualities of connections between them, examining in how far they support (professional) boundaries or help maintain a sense of context. Guiding themes are the relationships between space and the visibility of work, and how to accommodate social world needs through spatial arrangements.
  • Journal Article
    Landscapes of Practice: Bricolage as a Method for Situated Design
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 1, 2001) Büscher, Monika; Gill, Satinder; Mogensen, Preben; Shapiro, Dan
    This paper proposes a `bricolage' approach to designing systems forcooperative work. This involves users, participatory designers andethnographers in a continuing cycle of design and revised work practice,often in settings where resources are limited and short-term results arerequired. If exploits the flood to market of hardware, software and services.The approach is illustrated with results from a project with a practice oflandscape architects. Their work is analysed in terms of communities ofpractice and actor networks. These perspectives help to identify the`socilities' of people and technologies and of the relationships betweenthem. They help to distinguish different forms of cooperation with differingsupport needs, opportunities and vulnerabilities. They inform the designof technical support, the assessment of outcomes, and the design of furthersolutions, in a cycle of `situated experimentation'.
  • Journal Article
    The Communication Bottleneck in Knitwear Design: Analysis and Computing Solutions
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 1, 36951) Eckert, Claudia
    Communication between different members of a designteam often poses difficulties. This paper reports onthe results of a detailed empirical study ofcommunication in over twenty British, German andItalian knitwear companies. The knitwear designprocess is shared by the designers, who plan thevisual and tactile appearance of the garments, and thetechnicians, who have to realise the garment on aknitting machine. They comprise a typical but smalldesign team whose members have different backgroundsand expertise. Knitwear design allows a detailedanalysis of the causes and effects of communicationbreakdown. Designers specify their designsinaccurately, incompletely and inconsistently;technicians interpret these specifications accordingto their previous experience of similar designs, andproduce garments very different from the designers'original intentions. Knitwear is inherently difficultto describe, as no simple and complete notationexists; and the relationship between visual appearanceand structure and technical properties of knittedfabric is subtle and complex. Designers andtechnicians have different cognitive approaches andare very different people. At the same time theinteraction between designers and technicians is badlymanaged in many companies. This paper argues thatimproving the accuracy and reliability of designers'specifications would significantly enhance the designprocess. It concludes with a description of thearchitecture of an intelligent automatic design systemthat generates technically correct designs from thedesigners' customary notations.
  • Journal Article
    Bridging Work Practice and System Design: Integrating Systemic Analysis, Appreciative Intervention and Practitioner Participation
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 10, No. 2, 37043) Karasti, Helena
    This article discusses the integration of work practice and system design. By scrutinising the unfolding discourse of workshop participants the co-construction of work practice issues as relevant design considerations is described. Through a mutual exploration of ethnography and participatory design the contributing constituents to the co-construction process are identified and put forward as elements in the integration of `systemic analysis' and `appreciative intervention'. The systemic analysis proposes collaboratively grounding the emergent understandings on an inductive and iterative analysis of actual technologically mediated work practice. The appreciative intervention, in turn, calls for envisioning images of future system and context through a recognition of presence and change intertwined in the existing ways of working. The identified elements are joined into three dimensions of interplay, namely the analytic distance, the horizon of work practice transformations and the situated generalisations, which reformulate new conceptualisations of what the integration of work practice and participatory system design is all about. It is suggested that these dimensions together with practitioner participation call into question some of the taken-for-granted assumptions and commonly forwarded intractable disciplinary dichotomies and contribute more generally to bridging work practice and participatory design.