ECSCW 2009 pp 223-242 | Cite as

Divided by a common acronym: On the fragmentation of CSCW

  • Kjeld SchmidtEmail author


CSCW is in an advanced state of fragmentation. The acronym now, by and large, denotes widely diverging research programs that, apart from a shared name, have little or nothing in common. This situation obviously calls for clarification. Recounting the prehistory and formation of CSCW, the paper shows that CSCW, as a distinct research program devoted to the development of new technologies on the basis of understanding actual cooperative work practices, arose in response to the crises in which ‘Computer Mediated Communication’ (CMC) and Office Automation' (OA) had landed by the late 1980s. The paper finally discusses the reasons why CMC, although superseded as a research paradigm by the practice-oriented program of CSCW, has gained a new lease on life in CSCW and thus why CSCW has become fragmented.


Work Practice Office Work Cooperative Work Computer Support Cooperative Work Computer Conferencing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Copenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark

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