Advertisement

Contexts, work processes, and workspaces

  • Alessandra Agostini
  • Giorgio De Michelis
  • Maria Antonietta Grasso
  • Wolfgang Prinz
  • Anja Syri
Article

Abstract

In this paper a framework for the conceptual modelling of organizational contexts is provided and it is embodied into an extension of the TOSCA organizational handbook.

The context of a work process is relevant since the effectiveness of the cooperation among its actors is highly dependent on their awareness of it. It requires, on the one hand, that the context is made available in terms of visibility and/or transparency; on the other, that at any time a selection is made so that only what is relevant to the context is provided, leaving the rest in the background. With respect to the first requirement a model of the organizational context is needed, so that all the information regarding its dimensions can be linked together. With respect to the second requirement, a work process model provides some guidelines for designing a system offering a selective access to the context of a work process. The workspace metaphor is a good paradigm to make that information ready at hand, since it is the natural framework within which people do their work.

Key words

Organizational context awareness work process workspace 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Agostini, Alessandra, Giorgio De Michelis, and Katia Petruni (1994a): Keeping Workflow Models as Simple as Possible. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Petri-Nets and related formalisms within the 15th International Conference on Application and Theory of Petri Nets (ATPN '94), Zaragoza, Spain, June 21st, 1994, pp. 11–23. (Available on request from Dipartimento di Science dell'Informazione, University di Milano, E-mail: gdemich@hermes.dsi.unimi.it.)Google Scholar
  2. Agostini, Alessandra, Giorgio De Michelis, Stefano Patriarca, and Renata Tinini (1994b): A Prototype of an Integrated Coordination Support System. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). An International Journal, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 209–238.Google Scholar
  3. Bannon, Liam and Kjeld Schmidt (eds.) (1993): Issues of Supporting Organizational Context in CSCW Systems, COMIC-Deliverable Report 1.1. (Available via anonymous FTP from ftp.comp.lancs.ac.uk.)Google Scholar
  4. Bowers, John and John Churcher (1988): Local and Global Structuring of Computers Mediate Communication: Developing Linguistic Perspective on CSCW in COSMOS. In Proceedings of CSCW '88 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Portland, OR, September 26–28, 1988. New York: ACM Press, pp. 125–139.Google Scholar
  5. Bowers, John (1994): The Work to Make the Network Work: Studying CSCW in Action. In CSCW '94 - Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 22–26, 1994, R. Furuta and C. Neuwirth (eds.). New York: ACM Press, pp. 287–298.Google Scholar
  6. Curtis, Bill, Marc I. Kellner, and Jim Over (1992): Process Modelling. Communications of the ACM, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 75–90.Google Scholar
  7. De Michelis, Giorgio (1994): From the Analysis of Cooperation within Work-Processes to the Design of CSCW Systems. In Proceedings of the 15th Interdisciplinary Workshop on Informatics and Psychology: Interdisciplinary Approaches to System Analysis and Design, Schaerding, Austria, May 24–26, 1994, M.J. Tauber, R. Traunmüller, and S. Kaplan (eds.). (Available on request from Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, E-mail: kaplan@cs.uiuc.edu.)Google Scholar
  8. De Michelis, Giorgio and M. Antonietta Grasso (1994): Situating Conversations within the Language/Action Perspective: The Milan Conversation Model. In CSCW '94 — Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 22–26, 1994, R. Furuta and C. Neuwirth (eds.). New York: ACM Press, pp. 89–100.Google Scholar
  9. De Michelis, Giorgio (1995): Computer Support for Cooperative Work: Computers between Users and Social Complexity. In Organizational Learning and Technological Change, C. Zucchermaglio, S. Stucky, and S. Bagnara (eds.). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  10. Engelbart, Dan (1990): Knowledge-Domain Interoperability and an Open Hyperdocument System. In Proceedings of CSCW '90 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Los Angeles, California, October 7–10, 1990. New York: ACM Press, pp. 143–156.Google Scholar
  11. Fuchs, Ludwin, Uta Pankoke-Babatz, and Wolfgang Prinz (1995): Supporting Cooperative Awareness with Local Event Mechanisms: The GroupDesk System. In Proceedings of ECSCW '95 European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Stockholm, Sweden, September 10–14, 1995, K. Schmidt, H. Marmolin, and Y. Sundblad (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 247–262.Google Scholar
  12. Karbe, B., N. Ramsperger and P. Weiss (1990): Support of Cooperative Work by Electronic Circulation Folders. ACM Special Interest Group on Office Information System, vol. 11, no. 2–3, pp. 109–117.Google Scholar
  13. Klöckner, Konrad, Peter Mambrey, Markus Sohlenkamp, Wolfgang Prinz, Ludwin Fuchs, Sabine Kolvenbach, Uta Pankoke-Babatz, and Anja Syri (1995): POLITeam-Bridging the Gap between Bonn and Berlin for and with the Users. In Proceedings of ECSCW '95 European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Stockholm, Sweden, September 10–14, 1995, K. Schmidt, H. Marmolin, and Y. Sundblad (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 17–31.Google Scholar
  14. Kuutti, Kari (1993): Notes on Systems Supporting “Organizational Context” — An Activity Theory Viewpoint. In Issues of Supporting Organizational Context in CSCW Systems, COMIC-Deliverable Report 1.1, L. Bannon and K. Schmidt (eds.), pp. 101–118.Google Scholar
  15. Malone, Thomas, Kevin Crowston, Jintae Lee, and Brian Pentland (1993): Tools for inventing organizations: Toward a handbook of organizational processes. In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE Workshop on Enabling Technologies Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises, Morgantown, WV, April 20–22, 1993.Google Scholar
  16. Medina-Mora, Raul, Terry Winograd, Rodrigo Flores, and Fernando Flores (1992): The Action Workflow Approach to Workflow Management Technology. In CSCW '92. Proceedings of Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Toronto, Canada, October 31 to November 4, 1992, J. Turner and R. Kraut (eds.). New York: ACM Press, pp. 281–297.Google Scholar
  17. Pankoke-Babatz, Uta and Anja Syri (1996): Gemeinsame Arbeitsbereiche: Eine neue Form der Telekooperation? In Proceedings of D-CSCW '96 (German Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work), Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany, September 30–October 2, 1996, H. Kremar, H. Lewe, and G. Schwabe (eds.). Berlin: Springer-Verlag, pp. 51–67.Google Scholar
  18. Prinz, Wolfgang (1993): TOSCA: Providing Organizational Information to CSCW Applications. In Proceedings of the Third European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work - ECSCW'93, Milano, Italy, September 13–17, 1993, G. De Michelis, C. Simone, and K. Schmidt (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 139–154.Google Scholar
  19. Prinz, Wolfgang and S. Kolvenbach (1996): Support for Workflows in a Ministerial Environment. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work — CSCW'96, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, November 16–20, 1996. New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  20. Sarmiento, Mildred, Leandro Navarro, and Joan M. Marquès (1993): From Small to Large Scale. In Issues of Supporting Organizational Context in CSCW Systems, COMIC-Deliverable Report 1.1, L. Bannon and K. Schmidt (eds.), pp. 141–158.Google Scholar
  21. Schmidt, Kjeld and Liam Bannon (1992): Taking CSCW Seriously: Supporting Articulation Work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). An International Journal, vol. 1, no. 1–2, pp. 7–40.Google Scholar
  22. Schmidt, Kjeld (1994): The Organization of Cooperative Work — Beyond the ‘Leviathan’ Conception of Organization. In CSCW '94 — Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 22–26, 1994, R. Furuta and C. Neuwirth (eds.). New York: ACM Press, pp. 101–112.Google Scholar
  23. Suchman, Lucy A. (1987): Plans and Situated Actions. The Problem of Human-Machine Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Swenson, Keith (1993): Visual Support for Reengineering Work Processes. In COOCS '93 — Proceedings of the Conference on Organizational Computing Systems, Milpitas, California, November 1–4, 1993, S. Kaplan (ed.). New York: ACM Press, pp. 130–141.Google Scholar
  25. X.500 (1992): CCITT, ISO 9594-1, Information Technology — Open Systems Interconnection — The Directory, recommendations X.501–X.509.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Agostini
    • 1
  • Giorgio De Michelis
    • 1
  • Maria Antonietta Grasso
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Prinz
    • 2
  • Anja Syri
    • 2
  1. 1.Cooperation Technologies LaboratoryDepartment of Computer ScienceMilanoItaly
  2. 2.GMD — German National Research Center for Information TechnologyFIT — Institute for Applied Information TechnologySankt AugustinGermany

Personalised recommendations