CSCW: Four Characters in Search for a Context
By L.J. Bannon and K. Schmidt

Sep 3, 1999


Summary

This work attempts to provide a narrower definition for CSCW than the existing one until the time of the paper. First they attempt to define "group". After reviewing several definitions they adapt a broad one in the sense that a group is a "group" when their members refer to themselves as "we". In addition, the authors distinguish between terms such as "cooperative work", "collaborative work" and "group word". The authors stress the importance of a shared information space as a medium to provide context and meaning in the communication between the group participants. Finally the authors stress (once more) that introducing new technology to an organization, changes the organization and therefore it might happen that it changes the work practices for which the technology itself was first designed.