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The term computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) was first coined by Irene Greif and Paul M. Cashman in 1984, at a workshop attended by individuals interested in using technology to support people in their work[1]. At about this same time, in 1987 Dr. Charles Findley presented the concept of collaborative learning-work. According to[2], CSCW addresses "how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of computer systems." On the one hand, many authors consider that CSCW and groupware are synonyms. On the other hand, different authors claim that while groupware refers to real computer-based systems, CSCW focuses on the study of tools and techniques of groupware as well as their psychological, social, and organizational effects. The definition of [3] expresses the difference between these two concepts:

CSCW [is] a generic term, which combines the understanding of the way people work in groups with the enabling technologies of computer networking, and associated hardware, software, services and techniques.

Issues with CSCWEdit

CSCW (Computer- Supported Co-operative Work) is an enormous field of study, where psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, technologists etc have different interests according to their field of study. This among many other reasons creates a countless number of different reasons for CSCW to fail. Nevertheless, CSCW is an identifiable research field focused on the understanding of nature and characteristics of co-operative work with the objective of designing adequate computer based technology to support such cooperative work. CSCW examines competition, socialization and play; it draws on knowledge from a wide range of disciplines. Further considerations are necessary concerning the term “co-operation”. Within a single organization one can distinguish several types of co-operative works: according to them we will design different kind of systems and tools. The first type of co-operation is co-ordination: action of individuals gives meaning to the action of others and the others’ actions contribute to an individual action to achieve a final outcome. Co-ordination needs synchronization of persons, actions and the consistency of the individual actions with respect to the whole process. Another kind of co-operation is collaboration: is a process where individuals work together in the execution of a certain action to produce a final product. At the end of the process the single contribution cannot be isolated anymore because the final result is the sum of all the individual contribution. In collaboration processes common understanding of the objectives and shared knowledge are fundamental. The third type is co-decision: people contribute to take a joint decision. In co-decision context’s status consideration are relevant: all the participants may have the same qualification and position in the decision process or may give contributions on the basis of their specific role. Credibility, shared knowledge and common understanding are critical factors in these contexts as well. Of course, combinations of these co-operative processes might be needed to accomplish a task, involving a greater or lesser degree of shared knowledge or synchronization.

There have been great investments in CSCW tools in private and public sector during the last decade. Many of these implementations have been very successful, but some of them have been the opposite, even if the firms have been almost identical in structure and organization. Again one could identify several factors that make CSCW a success in one firm, but could lead to failure in other.

As mentioned there could be many reasons for CSCW to fail and stopping it for living up to its name, however at least there are three main causes: 1) the disparity of those who do the job and those who get the benefits; 2) the lack of management intuition for CSCW applications; 3) the extreme difficulty of evaluating these applications. Beyond this one can see several other critical factors that may fail the very nature of CSCW applications. Some of these are social reasons which again are an interesting factor for psychologists, awareness reasons which may be of interest for sociologists, functionality of the application which may interest technologists etc.

Traditionally the CSCW have been expensive applications that have been locked to a firm’s intranet or extranet. The trend to day for many CSCW applications is towards the internet, and for this there are several reasons. One of them is that internet is a medium which is accessible anywhere at anytime. This makes it easier for people to communicate, coordinate and do collaborative tasks independent of global boundaries. Nevertheless, internet gives an enormous opportunity for new vendors of CSCW applications to market and make people use their free trail versions. But, of course where there is a positive side, there always a negative side. The biggest drawback with internet as medium for CSCW to day is the security hazard. This risk is so big that many companies choose to use intranet solutions instead. This is a pity because the internet gives massive opportunities to interconnect the company’s value chain and suppliers by CSCW.

CSCW MatrixEdit

File:Cscwmatrix.jpg

The CSCW Matrix was introduced in 1988 by Johansen and appears in [4]

Same time/same placeEdit

Face to face interaction

Same time/different placeEdit

Remote interaction

Different time/same placeEdit

Continuous task

  • Team rooms,
  • Large displays

Different time/different placeEdit

Communication + Coordination

CSCW most cited papersEdit

  • The 47 CSCW Handbook Papers[5]. This paper list is the result of a citation graph analysis of the CSCW Conference. It has been established in 2006 and reviewed by the CSCW Community.

The “CSCW handbook”[5] papers were chosen as the overall most cited within the CSCW conference <...> It led to a list of 47 papers, corresponding to about 11% of all papers.

  1. Dourish, P.; Bellotti, V. (1992). Awareness and coordination in shared workspaces, ACM Press New York, NY, USA.
  2. Grudin, J. (1988). "Why CSCW applications fail: problems in the design and evaluation of organization of organizational interfaces". Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 85-93, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Root, R.W. (1988). "Design of a multi-media vehicle for social browsing". Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 25-38, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Patterson, J.F.; Hill, R.D.; Rohall, S.L.; Meeks, S.W. (1990). "Rendezvous: an architecture for synchronous multi-user applications". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 317-328, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Greenberg, S.; Marwood, D. (1994). "Real time groupware as a distributed system: concurrency control and its effect on the interface". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 207-217, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Nardi, B.A.; Whittaker, S.; Bradner, E. (2000). "Interaction and outeraction: instant messaging in action". Proceedings of the 2000 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 79-88, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Hughes, J.A.; Randall, D.; Shapiro, D. (1992). "Faltering from ethnography to design". Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 115-122, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Tang, J.C.; Isaacs, E.A.; Rua, M. (1994). "Supporting distributed groups with a Montage of lightweight interactions". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 23-34, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Neuwirth, C.M.; Kaufer, D.S.; Chandhok, R.; Morris, J.H. (1990). "Issues in the design of computer support for co-authoring and commenting". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 183-195, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Crowley, T.; Milazzo, P.; Baker, E.; Forsdick, H.; Tomlinson, R. (1990). "MMConf: an infrastructure for building shared multimedia applications". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 329-342, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Roseman, M.; Greenberg, S. (1992). "GROUPKIT: a groupware toolkit for building real-time conferencing applications". Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 43-50, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Shen, H.H.; Dewan, P. (1992). "Access control for collaborative environments". Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 51-58, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Gaver, W.W. (1992). The affordances of media spaces for collaboration, ACM Press New York, NY, USA.
  2. Orlikowski, W.J. (1992). Learning from Notes: organizational issues in groupware implementation, ACM Press New York, NY, USA.
  3. Sun, C.; Ellis, C. (1998). "Operational transformation in real-time group editors: issues, algorithms, and achievements". Proceedings of the 1998 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 59-68, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Bly, S.A. (1988). "A use of drawing surfaces in different collaborative settings". Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 250-256, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Leland, M.D.P.; Fish, R.S.; Kraut, R.E. (1988). "Collaborative document production using quilt". Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 206-215, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Conklin, J., Begeman, M.L. (1988). gIBIS: a hypertext tool for exploratory policy discussion. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) 6 (4): 303-331.
  2. Bentley, R.; Hughes, J.A.; Randall, D.; Rodden, T.; Sawyer, P.; Shapiro, D.; Sommerville, I. (1992). "Ethnographically-informed systems design for air traffic control". Proceedings of the 1992 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 123-129, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Mantei, M. (1988). "Capturing the capture concepts: a case study in the design of computer-supported meeting environments". Proceedings of the 1988 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 257-270, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Lantz, K.A. (1986). "An experiment in integrated multimedia conferencing". Proceedings of the 1986 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 267-275, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Harrison, S.; Dourish, P. (1996). "Re-place-ing space: the roles of place and space in collaborative systems". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 67-76, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Roseman, M.; Greenberg, S. (1996). "TeamRooms: network places for collaboration". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 325-333, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Ishii, H. (1990). "TeamWorkStation: towards a seamless shared workspace". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 13-26, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Ressel, M.; Nitsche-ruhland, D.; Gunzenhäuser, R. (1996). "An integrating, transformation-oriented approach to concurrency control and undo in group editors". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 288-297, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Edwards, W.K. (1996). "Policies and roles in collaborative applications". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 11-20, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Bellotti, V.; Bly, S. (1996). "Walking away from the desktop computer: distributed collaboration and mobility in a product design team". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 209-218, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Ackerman, M.S. (1998). Augmenting Organizational Memory: A Field Study of Answer Garden. ACM Transactions on Information Systems 16 (3): 203-224.
  2. Abbott, K.R.; Sarin, S.K. (1994). "Experiences with workflow management: issues for the next generation". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 113-120, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Resnick, P.; Iacovou, N.; Suchak, M.; Bergstrom, P.; Riedl, J. (1994). GroupLens: an open architecture for collaborative filtering of netnews, ACM Press New York, NY, USA.
  2. Prakash, A.; Shim, H.S. (1994). "DistView: support for building efficient collaborative applications using replicated objects". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 153-164, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Streitz, N.A.; Gei{ss}ler, J.; Haake, J.M.; Hol, J. (1994). "DOLPHIN: integrated meeting support across local and remote desktop environments and LiveBoards". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 345-358, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Foster, G.; Stefik, M. (1986). "Cognoter: theory and practice of a colab-orative tool". Proceedings of the 1986 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 7-15, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Shen, C.; Lesh, N.B.; Vernier, F.; Forlines, C.; Frost, J. (2002). "Sharing and building digital group histories". Proceedings of the 2002 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 324-333, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Sohlenkamp, M.; Chwelos, G. (1994). "Integrating communication, cooperation, and awareness: the DIVA virtual office environment". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 331-343, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Olson, J.S.; Teasley, S. (1996). "Groupware in the wild: lessons learned from a year of virtual collocation". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 419-427, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Reder, S.; Schwab, R.G. (1990). "The temporal structure of cooperative activity". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 303-316, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Fish, R.S.; Kraut, R.E.; Chalfonte, B.L. (1990). "The VideoWindow system in informal communication". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 1-11, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Haake, J.M.; Wilson, B. (1992). Supporting collaborative writing of hyperdocuments in SEPIA, ACM Press New York, NY, USA.
  2. Hudson, S.E.; Smith, I. (1996). "Techniques for addressing fundamental privacy and disruption tradeoffs in awareness support systems". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 248-257, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. MacKay, W.E. (1990). "Patterns of sharing customizable software". Proceedings of the 1990 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 209-221, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Trigg, R.H.; Suchman, L.A.; Halasz, F.G. (1986). "Supporting collaboration in notecards". Proceedings of the 1986 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work: 153-162, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Patterson, J.F.; Day, M.; Kucan, J. (1996). "Notification servers for synchronous groupware". Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 122-129, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Myers, B.A.; Stiel, H.; Gargiulo, R. (1998). "Collaboration using multiple PDAs connected to a PC". Proceedings of the 1998 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 285-294, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Ackerman, M.S.; Halverson, C. (1998). "Considering an organization's memory". Proceedings of the 1998 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 39-48, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Teasley, S.; Covi, L.; Krishnan, M.S.; Olson, J.S. (2000). "How does radical collocation help a team succeed?". Proceedings of the 2000 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 339-346, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
  1. Kuzuoka, H.; Kosuge, T.; Tanaka, M. (1994). "GestureCam: a video communication system for sympathetic remote collaboration". Proceedings of the 1994 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 35-43, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 


See also Edit

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. Grudin, J. (1994). Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: Its History and Participation. Computer 27 (4): 19-26.
  2. Carstensen, P.H., Schmidt, K. (1999). Computer supported cooperative work: new challenges to systems design.
  3. Wilson, P. (1991). Computer Supported Cooperative Work: An Introduction, Kluwer Academic Pub.
  4. Baecker, R.M.; Others, (1995). Readings in human-computer interaction: toward the year 2000, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jacovi, M.; Soroka, V.; Gilboa-freedman, G.; Ur, S.; Shahar, E.; Marmasse, N. (2006). "The chasms of CSCW: a citation graph analysis of the CSCW conference". Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work: 289-298, ACM Press New York, NY, USA. 
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