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Divided by a common acronym: On the fragmentation of CSCW

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Springer, London


CSCW is in an advanced state of fragmentation. The acronym now, by and large, denotes widely diverging research programs that, apart from a shared name, have little or nothing in common. This situation obviously calls for clarification. Recounting the prehistory and formation of CSCW, the paper shows that CSCW, as a distinct research program devoted to the development of new technologies on the basis of understanding actual cooperative work practices, arose in response to the crises in which ʻComputer Mediated Communicationʼ (CMC) and ʻOffice Automationʼ (OA) had landed by the late 1980s. The paper finally discusses the reasons why CMC, although superseded as a research paradigm by the practice-oriented program of CSCW, has gained a new lease on life in CSCW and thus why CSCW has become fragmented.


Schmidt, Kjeld (2009): Divided by a common acronym: On the fragmentation of CSCW. ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-84882-854-4_14. Springer, London. ISBN: 978-1-84882-854-4. pp. 223-242. Full Papers. Vienna Austria. 07-11 September 2009