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Designing for the Dynamics of Cooperative Work Activities

Jakob Bardram
CSCW seems to have a persistent problem of understanding the nature of "cooperative work". This paper argues that this problem is the direct result of not looking at the dynamic aspects of work — i.e. that cooperative work is not one thing, but different things at different times in different places. Based on Activity Theory the paper gives a conceptual framework for understanding the dynamics of collaborative work activities, and argues that the design of computer support should view cooperative breakdowns not as a problem but as an important resource in design. These arguments are based on empirical studies of healthcare work and the design of a computer support for planning and scheduling operations and other activities within a hospital.
Keywords: Cooperative work, dynamics, Activity Theory, design, healthcare
1998 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'98), pages 89-98, 14-18 November 1998, ACM Press
@inproceedings{bardrambook-98,
	Author = {Bardram, Jakob},
	Booktitle = {1998 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'98)},
	Isbn = {1-58133-009-0},
	Location = {Seattle, WA, USA},
	Month = {14--18~} # nov,
	Pages = {89--98},
	Publisher = {ACM Press},
	Title = {Designing for the Dynamics of Cooperative Work Activities},
	Url = {http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=289444.289483},
	Year = 1998}