Lest we forget

The European field study tradition and the issue of conditions of work in CSCW research
  • Liam Bannon
  • Kjeld Schmidt
  • Ina Wagner
Conference paper


The paper intends to direct attention to the rich and variegated European field study tradition. Focusing on the Francophone ergonomic tradition and especially the German studies of work and working conditions, both based on in-depth field studies in ordinary work settings, the paper attempts to situate these traditions vis-a-vis the research program of CSCW.


Work Practice Cooperative Work Computer Support Cooperative Work Cognitive Engineer Coordination Technology 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agre, Philip E.: ‘From high tech to human tech: Empowerment, measurement, and social studies of computing’, Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 3, no. 2, 1995, pp. 167–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, Robert J.: ‘Work, ethnography, and system design’, in A. Kent and J. G. Williams (eds.): The Encyclopedia of Microcomputing, vol. 20, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1997, pp. 159–183.Google Scholar
  3. Andrieux, Andrée; and Jean Lignon: L’ouvrier d’aujourdhui, Librairie Marcel Rivière, Paris, 1960. – Éditions Gonthier, Paris, 1966.Google Scholar
  4. Asendorf-Krings, I.; I. Drexel; and C. Nuber: ‘Reproduktionsvermögen und die Interessen von Kapital und Arbeit’, in L.-G. Mendius, et al., (ed.): Betrieb - Arbeitsmarkt - Qualifikation, Frankfurt, 1976, pp. Betrieb - Arbeitsmarkt - Qualifikation.Google Scholar
  5. Bannon, Liam J.; and Kjeld Schmidt: ‘CSCW: Four characters in search of a context’, in P. Wilson; J. M. Bowers; and S. D. Benford (eds.): ECSCW’89: Proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 13–15 September 1989, Gatwick, London, London, 1989, pp. 358–372.Google Scholar
  6. Bannon, Liam J. (ed.) ‘A new departure [The Suchman-Winograd debate: Part I]’. [Special theme of] Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, 1994, pp. 29–95.Google Scholar
  7. Bannon, Liam J. (ed.) ‘Commentaries and a response in the Suchman-Winograd debate [Part II]’. [Special theme of] Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, 1995, pp. 29–95.Google Scholar
  8. Beckenbach, Niels: Industriesoziologie, De Gruyter, Berlin, 1991.Google Scholar
  9. Braverman, Harry: Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, Monthly Review Press, New York and London, 1974.Google Scholar
  10. Button, Graham: ‘The ethnographic tradition and design’, Design Studies, vol. 21, no. 4, July 2000, pp. 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clement, Andrew: ‘Cooperative support for computer work: a social perspective on the empowering of end users’, in T. Bikson and F. Halasz (eds.): CSCW’90: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 7–10 October 1990, Los Angeles, Calif., ACM Press, New York, 1990, pp. 223–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crabtree, Andy, et al.: ‘Ethnography considered harmful’, in R. B. Arthur, et al. (eds.): CHI 2009: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, Boston, Mass., 4–9 April 2009, ACM Press, New York, 2009, pp. 879–888. Google Scholar
  13. Crossman, E. R. F. W.: Automation and Skill (1960). In E. Edwards and F. P. Lees (eds.): The Human Operator in Process Control. Taylor & Francis, London, 1974.Google Scholar
  14. De Keyser, Véronique: ‘De la contingence et la complexité: l’Évolution des idées dans l’étude des processus continus’, Le Travail humain, vol. 51, no. 1, 1988, pp. 1–18.Google Scholar
  15. De Keyser, Véronique: ‘Why field studies?’, in M. G. Helander and M. Nagamachi (eds.): Human Factors in Design for Manufacturability and Process Planning: Proceedings of The International Ergonomics Association, 9–11 August 1990, Honolulu, Hawaii, Dept. of Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, 1990, pp. 305–316.Google Scholar
  16. De Keyser, Véronique: ‘Why field studies?’, in M. G. Helander and M. Nagamachi (eds.): Design for Manufacturability: A Systems Approach to Concurrent Engineering in Ergonomics, Taylor & Francis, London and Washington, DC, 1992, pp. 305–316.Google Scholar
  17. De Keyser, Véronique; and Anne-Sophie Nyssen: ‘Les erreurs humaines en anesthésie’, Le Travail humain, vol. 56, no. 2–3, 1993, pp. 243–266.Google Scholar
  18. Dourish, Paul: ‘Implications for design’, in R. E. Grinter, et al. (eds.): CHI 2006: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 22–27 April 2006, Montréal, Québec, Canada, ACM Press, New York, 2006, pp. 541–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Edwards, Elwyn; and Frank P. Lees (eds.): The Human Operator in Process Control, Taylor & Francis, London, 1974.Google Scholar
  20. Emery, F. E.; and E. L. Trist: ‘The causal texture of organizational environments’, Human Relations, vol. 18, February 1965, pp. 21–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Engelstad, P. H.: ‘Socio-technical approach to problems of process control’ (Paper Making Systems and their Control, London, 1970). In E. Edwards and F. P. Lees: The Human Operator in Process Control. Taylor & Francis, London, 1974, pp. 367–385.Google Scholar
  22. Gaillard, Irène; Alain Kerguelen; and Pierre Thon (eds.): 44ème Congrès de la Société d’Ergonomie de Langue Française: Ergonomie et Organisation du Travail, Toulouse les 22, 23, 24 septembre 2009, Société d’Ergonomie de Langue Française (SELF), 2009. <>
  23. Greif, Irene; and Lucy A. Suchman (eds.): CSCW’88: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 26–28 September 1988, Portland, Oregon, ACM Press, New York, 1988.Google Scholar
  24. Hacker, Winfried: ‘Action Regulation Theory: A practical tool for the design of modern work processes?’, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, vol. 12, no. 2, 2003, pp. 105–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heath, Christian C.; and Paul Luff: Technology in Action, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hoff, Ernst; Lothar Lappe; and Wolfgang Lempert: ‘Sozialisationstheoretische Überlegungen zur Analyse von Arbeit, Betrieb und Beruf’, Soziale Welt, vol. 33, no. 4/4, 1982, pp. 508–531.Google Scholar
  27. Howard, Robert: ‘Systems design and social responsibility: The political implications of “Computer-Supported Cooperative Work”: A commentary’, Office: Technology and People, vol. 3, no. 2, 1987.Google Scholar
  28. Hughes, John A., et al.: ‘Perspectives on the social organisation of work’, in J. A. Hughes, et al. (eds.): Field Studies and CSCW, Computing Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, October 1994, pp. 129–160. COMIC Deliverable D2.2. <>
  29. Kern, Horst; and Michael Schumann: Industriearbeit und Arbeiterbewußtsein: Eine empirische Untersuchung über den Einfluß der aktuellen technischen Entwicklung auf die industrielle Arbeit und das Arbeiterbewußtsein, vol. 1–2, Europäische Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt am Main, 1970.Google Scholar
  30. Kern, Horst; and Michael Schumann: Das Ende der Arbeitsteilung? Rationalisierung in der industriellen Produktion: Bestandaufnahme, Trendbestimmung, München, 1984.Google Scholar
  31. Kuutti, Kari: ‘The concept of activity as a basic unit of analysis for CSCW research’, in L. J. Bannon; M. Robinson; and K. Schmidt (eds.): ECSCW’91: Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 24–27 September 1991, Amsterdam, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1991, pp. 249–264.Google Scholar
  32. Laville, Antoine: ‘Historical landmarks of french ergonomics’, in: Comptes rendus du congrès SELF-ACE 2001: Les transformations du travail, enjeux pour l’ergonomie / Proceedings of the SELF-ACE 2001 Conference: Ergonomics for Changing Work, vol. 1, 2001, pp. 1–6. <>
  33. Leplat, Jacques (ed.): L’analyse du travail en psychologie ergonomique: Recueil de textes. Tome 1, Octarès Éditions, Paris, 1992.Google Scholar
  34. Leplat, Jacques (ed.): L’analyse du travail en psychologie ergonomique: Recueil de textes. Tome II, Octarès Éditions, Paris, 1993.Google Scholar
  35. Leplat, Jacques: ‘Collective activity in work: some lines of research’, Le Travail humain, vol. 57, no. 3, 1994, pp. 209–226.Google Scholar
  36. Littek, Wolfgang: ‘Arbeitssituation und betriebliche Arbeitsbedingungen’, in W. Littek; W. Rammert; and G. n. Wachtler (eds.): Einführung in die Arbeits- und Industriesoziologie, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt a. M., 1983, pp. 92–135.Google Scholar
  37. Mickler, Otfried, et al.: Produktion und Qualifikation: Eine empirische Untersuchung zur Entewicklung von Qualifikationsanforderungen in der industriellen Produktion und deren Ursachen, vol. 1–2, SOFI, Göttingen, 1977.Google Scholar
  38. Mickler, Otfried: ‘The introduction and use of CNC in the Federal Republic of Germany’, in A. Francis and P. Grootings (eds.): New Technologies and Work: Capitalist and Socialist Persopectives, Routledge, London/New York, 1989, pp. 187–226.Google Scholar
  39. Moldaschl, Manfred: Frauenarbeit oder Facharbeit? Montagerationalisierung in der Elektroindustrie II, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt, 1991.Google Scholar
  40. Montmollin, Maurice de: ‘Analysis and models of operators’ activities in complex natural life environments’, in J. Rasmussen; H. B. Andersen; and N. O. Bernsen (eds.): Human-Computer Interaction: Research Directions in Cognitive Science: European Perspectives, vol. 3, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hove, England, 1991, pp. 95–112.Google Scholar
  41. Neboit, Michel: ‘Brève histoire de l’ergonomie’, 2006. <>
  42. Oesterreich, Rainer; and Walter Volpert: ‘Task analysis for work design on the basis of Action Regulation Theory’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, vol. 7, 1986, pp. 503–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ombredane, André; and Jean-Marie Faverge: L’analyse du travail: Facteur d’économie humaine et de productivité, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1955.Google Scholar
  44. Pipek, Volkmar, et al. (eds.): End-User Development: 2nd International Symposium, IS-EUD 2009, Siegen, Germany, 2–4 March 2009: Proceedings, Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg, 2009.Google Scholar
  45. Pongratz, H. J.; and R. Trinczek: Industriesoziologische Fallstudien: Entwicklungspotenziale einer Forschungsstrategie, edition sigma, Berlin, 2010.Google Scholar
  46. Popitz, Heinrich, et al.: Technik und Industriearbeit: Soziologische Untersuchungen in der Hüttenindustrie, J. C. B. Mohr, Tübingen, 1957a.Google Scholar
  47. Popitz, Heinrich, et al.: Das Gesellscahftsbild des Arbeiters: Soziologische Untersuchungen in der Hüttenindusrtrie, J. C. B. Mohr, Tübingen, 1957b.Google Scholar
  48. Randall, David W.; Richard H. R. Harper; and Mark Rouncefield: Fieldwork for Design: Theory and Practice, Springer, London, 2007.Google Scholar
  49. Robinson, Mike: ‘Double-level languages and co-operative working’, AI & Society, vol. 5, no. 1, January 1991, pp. 34–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rogalski, Janine: ‘Co-operation processes in dynamic environment management: Evolution through training experienced pilots in flying a highly automated aircraft’, Acta Psychologica, vol. 91, no. 3, April 1996, pp. 273–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Roth, Emilie M.; and Emily S. Patterson: ‘Using observational study as a tool for discovery: Uncovering cognitive and collaborative demands and adaptive strategies’, in H. Montgomery; R. Lipshitz; and B. Brehmer (eds.): How Professionals Make Decisions, Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, New Jersey, 2005, pp. 379–493.Google Scholar
  52. Samurçay, Renan; and Janine Rogalski: ‘Cooperative work and decision making in emergency management’, Le Travail humain, vol. 56, no. 1, 1993, pp. 53–77.Google Scholar
  53. Schmidt, Kjeld; and Liam J. Bannon: ‘Taking CSCW seriously: Supporting articulation work’, Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 1, no. 1–2, 1992, pp. 7–40.Google Scholar
  54. Sørgaard, Pål: ‘A cooperative work perspective on use and development of computer artifacts’, in: 10th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS), 10–12 August 1987, Vaskivesi, Finland, 1987.Google Scholar
  55. Suchman, Lucy A.: ‘Do categories have politics? The language/action perspective reconsidered’, in G. De Michelis; C. Simone; and K. Schmidt (eds.): ECSCW’93: Proceedings of the Third European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 13–17 September 1993, Milano, Italy, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1993, pp. 1–14.Google Scholar
  56. Suchman, Lucy A.: ‘Do categories have politics? The language/action perspective reconsidered’, Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 2, no. 3, 1994, pp. 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Touraine, Alain: La conscience ouvrière, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1966.Google Scholar
  58. Trist, Eric L.; and Kenneth W. Bamforth: ‘Some social and psycological consequences of the longwall method of coal-getting: An examination of the psychological situation and defences of a work group in relation to the social structure and technological content of the work system’, Human Relations, vol. 4, 1951, pp. 3–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Vicente, Kim J.: ‘Cognitive engineering research at Risø from 1962–1979’, in E. Salas (ed.): Advances in Human Performance and Cognitive Engineering Research, vol. 1, Elsevier, New York, 2001, pp. 1–57.Google Scholar
  60. Volpert, Walter: Die ‘Humanisierung der Arbeit’ und die Arbeitswissenschaft, Pahl-Rugenstein Verlag, Köln, 1974.Google Scholar
  61. Volpert, Walter: ‘Psychologische Aspekte industrieller Arbeit’, in W. Georg; L. Kißler; and U. Sattel (eds.): Arbeit und Wissenschaft: Arbeitswissenschaft?, Bonn, 1985.Google Scholar
  62. Wagner, Ina; and Andrew Clement (eds.): ‘NetWORKing’. [Special theme of] Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 2, no. 1–2, 1994, pp. 1–130.Google Scholar
  63. Winograd, Terry: ‘Categories, disciplines, and social coordination’, Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 2, 1994, pp. 191–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Woodward, Joan: Industrial Organization: Theory and Practice, Oxford University Press, London, 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liam Bannon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kjeld Schmidt
    • 4
  • Ina Wagner
    • 5
  1. 1.Université de Technologie de TroyesTroyesFrance
  2. 2.University of LimerickLimerickIreland
  3. 3.University of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  4. 4.Copenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Technical University of ViennaViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations