JCSCW Vol. 04 (1995)

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  • Journal Article
    Comparing collaborative drawing tools and whiteboards: An analysis of the group process
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 1, 1995) Aytes, Kregg
    Collaborative drawing tools, which are designed to allow multiple users to share an electronic drawing space, have recently become the focus of many researchers' efforts. While advances have been made in the technological implementation of these tools, little is known about the effect these tools have on group processes. This paper discusses a study that was conducted to compare groups using conventional (whiteboard) technology to those using collaborative drawing tools. The results of these two experiments provide evidence that these tools alter the way in, which groups work. For some types of tasks, the amount of interaction among group members using a collaborative drawing tool tends to be less than among groups using conventional technology. Groups using collaborative drawing tools tended to take significantly longer than whiteboard groups. Possible reasons for these results are further explored in this paper.
  • Journal Article
    The relevance of ‘work-practice’ for design
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 4, 1995) Button, Graham; Harper, Richard
    Designers are increasingly being urged to take account of the situated and contingent organisation of the work that their systems are to support or automate. Within CSCW the concept of work-practice is a much used token for the organisation of work. This paper develops the debate about the position of work-practice in design by recognising that it is an ambiguous concept in sociology that is used to refer to different orders to work organisation. It is argued that as such it is as likely to mask the situated and contingent organisation of work as it is to make it visible. In order to fully realise the radicalisation of design portended by the deployment of the concept of work-practice and in order to make visible the in situ organisation of work it is argued that full and due weight has to be placed upon grounding the concept in analytic explications of the interactional ordering of work. This stands in contrast to grounding work-practice in the formalisms of work emanating from theoretical debates about work in a capitalist economic/social structure; documentations of work; the narratives of workers, managers, and purchasers; dialogues with users, and mere observations of work. Two studies are invoked to substantiate this argument, one involving a sales ordering and invoicing system, the other a crime reporting system.
  • Journal Article
    Interaction process in computer-mediated and face-to-face groups
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 2-3, 1995) Lebie, Linda; Rhoades, Jonathan A.; Mcgrath, Joseph E.
    This paper presents a comparative description of interactions in computer-mediated (CMC) and face-to-face (FTF) groups. For each of six weeks 16 CMC and 14 FTF groups of students collaborated on group essay assignments. We coded all verbal messages during these essay tasks. We explored four questions: 1.) Do CMC and FTF groups differ in the frequency of interaction acts, overall and within interaction categories?; 2.) If so, which interaction categories are used more by CMC and which by FTF groups?; 3.) Do these patterns of interaction activity vary over time?; 4.) Are there systematic differences in interaction patterns over time between media? Results showed that there were substantial differences between CMC and FTF groups in both the amount and type of interaction for each of four main categories of interaction. There were substantial over-time effects, collapsed across media, for several of the categories of behavior, but there were no significant differences in the way CMC and FTF groups changed over time. Although there was extensive variation among groups within a given medium, we did find some consistent patterns of behavior for groups within each medium, some of them distinctive for the medium. Although we offer evidence for differences in interaction processes of FTF and CMC groups, we note that the conclusions one makes depends upon one's perspective about the purpose of groups.
  • Journal Article
    Information technology and regulatory reformThe interorganisational effects of a technological innovation
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 4, 1995) Williams, Trevor A.
    This paper examines whether information technology can play a strategic role in supporting regulatory reforms aimed at achieving voluntary cooperation with government regulation. Analysis of the case of electronic tax return lodgment in Australia suggests that the effects of IT are contextual, and identifies positive effects of the new IT system on voluntary cooperation. However, in this case, divergence between private and public interests and uncertainty and lack of participation in regulatory decision-making appear to restrict the development of voluntary cooperation as a primary basis for government regulation.
  • Journal Article
    Equality of participation and influence in groups: The effects of communication medium and sex composition
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 2-3, 1995) Berdahl, Jennifer L.; Craig, Kellina M.
    We tested the claim that computer-mediated communication (CMC) is more egalitarian than face-to-face (FTF) communication by studying patterns of reported participation and influence in 30 FTF and 30 synchronous CMC groups over seven weeks. Twenty-two of these groups were composed of a majority of males or females; these were used to test effects of communication medium and sex composition on relative levels of participation and influence among group members. Competing predictions were derived from three theories: proportional theory, social role theory, and expectation states theory. Results indicated that CMC participation was perceived as more centralized than was FTF participation in groups' first meetings, but as similar for the remaining six meetings. Results revealed no or weak support for any of the competing theories of sex composition. Influence was perceived as most centralized in CMC majority-male groups and in FTF majority-female groups. In CMC groups, males in majority-female groups were perceived as having more influence than their female group members, whereas males in majority-male groups were perceived as having less influence than their female group members. In FTF groups, the ratio of male-to-female influence in majority-male and majority-female groups did not differ significantly. Implications of these findings and the need for additional longitudinal research are discussed.
  • Journal Article
    Video-as-data: Technical and social aspects of a collaborative multimedia application
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 1, 1995) Nardi, Bonnie A.; Kuchinsky, Allan; Whittaker, Steve; Leichner, Robert; Schwarz, Heinrich
    We studied the use of a collaborative multimedia system for coordinating teamwork among members of a neurosurgical team. We analyze the use of video within the operating room and the use of broadcast audio and video to other locations in the hospital to enable remote neurophysiological monitoring. We describe how the multimedia system was used in a real world work context, including its benefits and problems. We argue that video can be useful as more than just pictures of people talking to one another; video can be a rich tool to enable analysis and problem solving. We discuss privacy problems inherent in collaborative multimedia technology and describe how they played out in the hospital during the course of our study.
  • Journal Article
    Affect in computer-mediated and face-to-face work groups: The construction and testing of a general model
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 2-3, 1995) Rhoades, Jonathan A.; O'Connor, Kathleen M.
    The present study examines the role of affect, or emotion, in the performance of computer-mediated and face-to-face work groups. Past research has focussed on the role of affect in either individual information processing or behavior in settings requiring interpersonal interaction. Little research has examined the role of affect in groups, especially those in a work group setting. Even less is known about the role that the communication medium plays in the expression or impact of group members' affect. To integrate these domains, a general model of affect in work group settings is proposed. Predictions are derived from the relevant affect, group interaction, and group performance literatures. In addition, predictions about the moderating role of the communication system are discussed. Results from a path analysis suggest that affect has a substantial impact intragroup on processes as well as on work group performance. In face-to-face groups, the affect experienced by group members had an impact on the group's cohesiveness, the amount members participated in the task, and the degree to which members processed information relevant to the task. These factors, in turn, had implications for the group's performance. In computer-mediated groups, affect had an effect on the group's cohesiveness and the amount of information processing, though these were unrelated to any performance measures for these groups. Similarities and differences between communication media are discussed in terms of their importance for extending our understanding about the role of affect in a group performance context.
  • Journal Article
    Time, technology and groups: An integration
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 2-3, 1995) Arrow, Holly; Berdahl, Jennifer L.; Bouas, Kelly S.; Craig, Kellina M.; Cummings, Anne; Lebie, Linda; McGrath, Joseph E.; O'Connor, Kathleen M.; Rhoades, Jonathan A.; Schlosser, Ann
    This paper summarizes main findings of the five empirical papers in this issue, and discusses certain themes that connect them.
  • Journal Article
    Developing complex group products: Idea combination in computer-mediated and face-to-face groups
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 2-3, 1995) Cummings, Anne; Schlosser, Ann; Arrow, Holly
    This study examines how group experience, communication medium, and strategies for combining individual ideas influence the integrative complexity of group products. Each week for six weeks, members of 31 work groups wrote individual essays about their group tasks and experiences, and then collaborated on a group essay on the same topic. Results indicate that in the later weeks of the study, computer-mediated groups produce essays with higher integrative complexity than those of face-to-face groups. The integrative complexity of essays in later weeks is a joint function of the complexity of member ideas and the number of members who participate directly in writing the essay (scribes). The greater complexity of computer-mediated groups' essays in the later weeks of the study is partly accounted for by their use of more scribes and their inclusion of more unique member ideas.
  • Journal Article
    Why people do and don't wear active badges: A case study
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 4, No. 4, 1995) Harper, Richard H. R.
    This paper reports findings from an analysis of attitudes toward and use of active badges and associated applications in a large corporate research laboratory. The evidence will show that there were two distinct sets of views about active badges, leading one group within the institution to be strongly opposed to their introduction and use, and another very supportive. Analysis of these views will show that they were the manifestation of two different morally cohered communities. The demonstrable existence of these communities was in part achieved through and displayed by the avowal of these distinct sets of attitudes and views. Further, analysis of the particular communities will suggest that some of these views and attitudes had the character of being sacred or semi-sacred; in this sense they were beliefs. On the basis of these materials, the paper will conclude with discussion of how beliefs can form the bedrock of any and all communities, and how it is necessary to respect those beliefs if one wishes to introduce technologies to support group activities. Failure to do so can lead to the rejection of systems on grounds well removed from the purported purpose of those systems.