Groupware and Cooperative Work
By J. Grudin

Sep 8, 1999


Grudin presents again his five points of why Groupware fails, namely: an unbalanced workload and perceived benefits; failures to acknowledge the social context; the failure to cope with a broad range of exceptions; the complexity of the problem; and poor intuitions for multi-user applications. Later he presents the case for e-mail as a success story of Groupware and explains how e-mail overcomes the aforementioned difficulties. It finalizes by predicting changes in hierarchical organizations and the broadening of academic scopes.


Grudin predicted that Groupware would undermine the authority of hierarchical organizations. Now, after almost a decade after this paper was written, we can observe a parallelism between the next two facts:

Is this parallelism just coincidence, or could the introduction of Groupware designed under a more "democratic" philosophy might had influenced the change in organization structure. But we might argue the opposite. So in the case that they have influence one another, which was first?