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JCSCW Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809101112

Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2

Editors:Kjeld Schmidt
Publisher:Kluwer Academic Publishing
Standard No:ISSN 0925-9724
Links:www.wkap.nl | Table of Contents
  1. JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 4
  2. JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 1/2
  3. JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 3
  4. JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 4

JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 4

Editorial BIBFull-Text iii

JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 1/2

Preface to the special issue of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) on 'networking' BIBFull-Text 1-3
  Andrew Clement; Ina Wagner
Networking actors and organisations BIBAFull-Text 5-20
  Ina Wagner
Computer-supported networks are discussed as distinct social forms which may provide shelter to other forms such as a small cooperative ensemble, a particular community of practice, yet offer some special perspectives. Foremost among these perspectives are power issues, but also the role of networks in generating knowledge, in encouraging and bounding plurality (by management control as well as by standardisation). One particular aspect of networking explored in this paper is the locatedness of activities in a specific time-space contextuality.
Working relations of technology production and use BIBAFull-Text 21-39
  Lucy Suchman
This paper explores the relevance of recent feminist reconstructions of objectivity for the development of alternative visions of technology production and use. I take as my starting place the working relations that make up the design and use of technical systems. Working relations are understood as networks or webs of connections that sustain the visible and invisible work required to construct coherent technologies and put them into use. I outline the boundaries that characterize current relations of development and use, and the boundary crossings required to transform them. Three contrasting premises for design-the view from nowhere, detached engagement, and located accountability -- are taken to represent incommensurate alternatives for a politics of professional design. From the position of located accountability, I close by sketching aspects of what a feminist politics and associated practices of system development could be.
Mediated collaborative research? BIBAFull-Text 41-65
  Duncan Sanderson
Several 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.
Considering privacy in the development of multi-media communications BIBAFull-Text 67-88
  Andrew Clement
This paper discusses the privacy implications of multi-media communications systems by examining how privacy issues arise and are dealt with by the researchers who are simultaneously developing and using such systems. While several design principles are emerging from this process that can guide future developments, it is argued that greater attention to privacy concerns will be needed as these new communications technologies are applied more widely.
Social control and social contract in networking BIBAFull-Text 89-108
  H. K. Klein; Philip Kraft
Networks 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 reorganization 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.
The politics of networking technology in health care BIBAFull-Text 109-130
  Ole Hanseth; Kari Thoresen; Langdon Winner
The theme of the paper is the tension between centralization and the need for standardization versus the need for locally developed organization and use of information technology. Unanticipated side effects have always existed in IT-based organization change. However, the trend towards integration, both within and across organizational boundaries, may amplify the diversity and scope of such effects, thus making them more difficult to deal with. We will explore the tensions between local and centralized control on three levels: how networking technology applications can support centralization and decentralization of control, how standards and standardization processes deal with the central/local tension, and how well established information system design techniques such as modelling and formalization cope with this tension. The strategies for dealing with these political issues, we argue, are participatory and evolutionary standardization.

JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 3

The LookingGlass distributed shared workspace BIBAFull-Text 137-157
  S. A. R. Scrivener; S. M. Clark; N. Keen
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 one'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.
A new architecture for a collaborative authoring system BIBAFull-Text 159-174
  Keith McAlpine; Paul Golder
Much research has occurred in recent years detailing computer systems which support collaborative writing. In this paper we describe a collaborative authoring system capable of handling both synchronous and asynchronous communication between authors, based upon a writing model of coordination, writing, annotation, consolidation and negotiation. This assumes that the negotiation aspects play a major role in the collaborative process. A model linking the logical structure of documents and author roles is also established, based on the Standard Generalized Markup Language.
A new departure BIBFull-Text 175
  Liam Bannon
Do categories have politics? BIBAFull-Text 177-190
  Lucy Suchman
Drawing 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.
Categories, disciplines, and social coordination BIBAFull-Text 191-197
  Terry Winograd
Lucy 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.
Keeping people apart BIBAFull-Text 199-207
  Richard Harper; Kathleen Carter
This paper reports findings of research into the nature of collaboration in a design company. Observations of the shared work of two groups, architects and building services engineers, are discussed and the role of meetings considered. It will be argued that the achievement of ultimate ends in this organisation is through a division of labour involving discrete working practices. Consequently, technology that brings people together is inappropriate and could unsettle working harmony. This finding is not offered as a discovery but as a reminder: CSCW is in part about sensitivity to social and organisational issues in system design and evaluation. However, in the pursuit innovative technology, those sensitivities can often be lost.

JCSCW 1994 Volume 2 Issue 4

A prototype of an integrated coordination support system BIBAFull-Text 209-238
  Alessandra Agostini; Giorgio Michelis; Stefano Patriarca; Renata Tinini
UTUCS is a system for supporting a group of people (an office, a team, etc.) interconnected through a communication network in handling conversations carried on through different communication media. It has been developed with the aim of providing a good coordination support system that pairs the best computer-based tool a group may have in any situation (dispersed versus non dispersed, synchronous versus non synchronous) with the ability to switch from one to another, maintaining integrated and linked the information it creates. As UTUCS is a general system devoted to integrating conversations independently of the communication media exploited, it has been designed in such a way that it can be enhanced by developing a module for any communication medium that can be effectively supported by a computer network. Up to now the Electronic Mail module, the Face to Face Couple Colloquies module, and the Face to Face Group Meetings module have been implemented.
GDSS' formative fundaments BIBAFull-Text 239-260
  Randall Whitaker
A 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 avenue 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.
Groups are not always the same BIBAFull-Text 261-284
  Kalle Lyytinen; Petri Maaranen; Juha Knuuttila
The idea of supporting group meetings at the same time and at the same place by computer raises the problem of how salient features of group behaviors are understood in meetings. In this paper we take a critical look at several beliefs about group behaviors in research dealing with electronic meeting systems (EMS). The paper argues based on an empirical study that the concept of a small, cohesive business team, so widely held, in all EMS research is not necessarily a valid starting point in thinking of meeting support. In particular, the paper critically evaluates a number of beliefs of user aspects, group features such as composition, structure and protocols, and task characteristics such as nature, importance and meeting goals. In consequence, if these prominent features can vary markedly all meeting support cannot be designed in ways envisaged in current research. In conclusion we outline some research questions -- both of empirical and constructive nature -- that need to be addressed if the EMS research wants to address issues in computer support in groups that are not similar with business teams.
Overcoming social awareness in computer-supported groups BIBAFull-Text 285-297
  Suzanne Weisband
We 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 reduced. Implications of these findings for mixed status cooperative work groups and for the design of computer communication systems are discussed.