‘Keep Up the Good Work!’: The Concept of ‘Work’ in CSCW
The scope of CSCW has been a topic of sporadic debate for many years, but in a programmatic article from 2005, three esteemed CSCW researchers – Andy Crabtree, Tom Rodden, and Steve Benford – now forcefully argue that CSCW should ‘move its focus away from work’. It is thus time to reconsider CSCW, to rethink what it is and why it might be important. This paper focuses on CSCW’s scope: the rationale for its focus on ordinary work. It offers an analysis of the concept of ‘work’ (based on Ryle, Urmson, and Schutz), a critique of prevailing illusions about the realities of work in the contemporary world, and an attempt position CSCW in the context of technological development more broadly.