A reflexive perspective of CSCW

  • Cockburn A
  • Thimbleby H
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Personal computing has had a major effect on the way that many people work; whole organisations have been revolutionised by tools such as filing systems and word processors. Whilst personal computing has enhanced the execution of work it has largely failed to support the cooperative environment in which it is done. CSCW (Computer Supported Cooperative Work) aims to remove this artificial division caused by the systemic focus on the single user and to replace it with systems supporting the wider, social, web of cooperation. Unfortunately CSCW in practice has failed in this task. This paper briefly discusses the reasons for this failure, and proposes a "reflexive perspective" of CSCW as an emphasis shift in current CSCW research which, it is argued and demonstrated by example, will result in greater success for future cooperative systems.

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  • Andrew J. G. Cockburn

  • Harold Thimbleby

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