Variations and Commonalities in Processes of Collaboration: The Need for Multi-Site Workplace Studies
Workplace studies have made a major contribution to the field of CSCW, drawing attention to subtle practices that enable effective collaboration. However, workplace studies typically focus on a single setting, making it difficult to assess the generalisability of the findings. Through a multi-site workplace study, we explore a specific collaborative process, that of the handover which occurs when a patient is transferred from one hospital or ward to another. The study demonstrates that the term ‘handover’ captures a variety of collaborative practices that vary in both their form and content, reflecting aspects of the setting in which they occur. Multi-site workplace studies are shown to be essential for CSCW, not only generating findings that have relevance beyond a single setting but also focusing attention on aspects of work practice that may otherwise go unnoticed.