JCSCW Vol. 02 (1993)

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  • Journal Article
    Categories, disciplines, and social coordination
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 3, 1993) Winograd, Terry
    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.
  • Journal Article
    A new departure
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 3, 1993) Bannon, Liam
  • Journal Article
    Social control and social contract in networking
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Klein, H. K.; Kraft, Philip
    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 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 Article
    Overcoming social awareness in computer-supported groups
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 4, 1993) Weisband, Suzanne
    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 redüced. Implications of these findings for mixed status cooperative work groups and for the design of computer communication systems are discussed.
  • Journal Article
    Mediated collaborative research?
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Sanderson, Duncan
    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.
  • Journal Article
    Networking actors and organisations
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Wagner, Ina
    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-spacecontextuality.
  • Journal Article
    A prototype of an integrated coordination support system
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 4, 1993) Agostini, Alessandra; Michelis, Giorgio; Patriarca, Stefano; Tinini, Renata
    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.
  • Journal Article
    Working relations of technology production and use
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Suchman, Lucy
    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.
  • Journal Article
    Groups are not always the same
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 4, 1993) Lyytinen, Kalle; Maaranen, Petri; Knuuttila, Juha
    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.
  • Journal Article
    Considering privacy in the development of multi-media communications
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 2, No. 1-2, 1993) Clement, Andrew
    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.