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CSCW and Groupware Literature Guide:

Randy's Reviews, Recommendations, and (Optional) Referrals

Your Faithful Reviewer and Book Agent: Dr. Randall Whitaker

Now you can peruse, review, and even purchase the relevant literature without leaving the comfort (???) of your Web browser!


There are a number of extensive CSCW / groupware bibliographies you can access out on the Internet (cf. the Guide to Internet Resources at this site). As a result, there's no point in trying to provide you with yet another massive listing of the relevant literature. Instead, this is a 'browsable' space offering:


[Core Literature on CSCW and Groupware] [Secondary Literature]
[Proceedings of the Annual CSCW Conferences] [Other Relevant Literature]


About this Page as an Access Channel

This bibliography / review page also serves as an online direct channel for obtaining literature on CSCW and groupware. I've added this capability as a convenience for those of you having trouble finding the basic books in the field. The key books in this area are not commonly stocked by local booksellers, and many of them are only available via special order. Books is a 'virtual enterprise' accessible through the World Wide Web. It is the planet's largest bookstore, with over 1,000,000 titles in their catalog. I have ordered books through on multiple occasions, and my experience is that their service is excellent.

By following the hot links provided below, you will be forwarded to the specific page in the database for the book(s) in which you are interested. That page will provide information on availability and pricing for the given book. To purchase the book, simply "Add it to your shopping basket", as they say. When you are finished, follow the provided link(s) to finalize your order. offers multiple options for payment (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and checks or money orders denominated in U.S. Dollars) and shipping arrangements. They can handle international orders, too. If you are using a recent version of Netscape,'s usage of current privacy features affords you the highest available degree of security in your transaction.

Complete information on services and policies can be found once you get to their Webspace.


Core Literature on CSCW and Groupware

This section focuses on those publications which I consider 'core literature' in two senses: (a) the sense that they cover the central essence of the CSCW / groupware arena, and (b) the sense that I prioritize them as the best starting points for collecting a sound library on these subjects.


Baecker, Ronald M. (ed.)
Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work : Assisting Human-Human Collaboration, San Mateo CA: Morgan Kauffmann, 1993.

This is a very good compilation of key papers originally published from the late 1980's onward. This collection is particular notable for having included much of the 'cream of the crop' from various CSCW conferences. Highly recommended for initial CSCW overviews and/or for general background reference.


Bostrom, Robert P., Watson, Richard T., and Susan T. Kinney (eds.)
Computer Augmented Teamwork : A Guided Tour, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.

Highly recommended! Although this book's title seems fairly generic in scope, it is actually the best single overview of actual work on group (decision) support systems -- groupware for shared decision making and/or other intensely task-oriented activities. The breadth of work surveyed and the degree of detail provided in this volume make it one of the best CSCW reference works I've yet seen.


Ciborra, Claudio (ed.)
Groupware and Teamwork, (John Wiley Series in Information Systems), New York: John Wiley & Sons, forthcoming (February 1997).

At the CSCW'96 conference, Ciborra outlined this forthcoming volume as a compendium of experiences and viewpoints from leading CSCW researchers. Based on his description, this could be a very interesting volume.


Coleman, David, and Raman Khanna
Groupware : Technologies and Applications, Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995.

This book is a solid reference source on the application orientation of CSCW -- i.e., specific types of CSCW-related products and their intended usage. An excerpt entitled "An Overview of Groupware" can be browsed online at:


Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing

Established in the early 1990's, Computer Supported Cooperative Work was the first and remains the primary print journal dedicated to CSCW. It is published by Kluwer Academic Publishers, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands. The newly-established Web pages for the journal offer tables of contents, submission guidelines, and other information.

Ellis, C., S. Gibbs & G. Rein
Groupware: Some Issues and Experiences, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 34, no. 1 (January 1991), pp. 39-58.

NOTE: This article was reprinted in Baecker, R., Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, San Mateo CA: Morgan Kauffmann, 1993, pp. 9-28.

With a broad perspective, clear line of discussion, and a massive bibliography supporting it, this is one of the best paper-length discussions of groupware issues to be found. Highly recommended as an introductory / intermediate reading.

Greenberg, Saul (ed.)
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware (Computers and People Series), New York: Academic Press, 1991.

Yet another good collection of core papers on CSCW, drawing on materials originally published in the International Journal of Man-Machine Studies special editions on CSCW / groupware issues published in February and March of 1991. This book includes a very extensive bibliography of the relevant literature as of that time.


Greif, Irene (ed.)
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work : A Book of Readings, San Mateo CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1988.

This is a classic collection from the early days (mid-1980's) when CSCW was still coalescing as a recognized field of enquiry. This collection is notable for its inclusion of several visionary papers from the pre-CSCW days, including two previously hard-to-obtain articles from Douglas Engelbart. Recommended for background reference purposes.


Johansen, Robert (ed.)
Leading Business Teams : How Teams Can Use Technology and Group Process Tools to Enhance Performance (Addison-Wesley Series on Organization Development), New York: Addison-Wesley, 1991.

Johansen has long been one of the most enthusiastic proponents of using IT to facilitate team work. This early book was a landmark demonstration of how balanced attention to both the technical and team (i.e., human / social) sides of the CSCW dichotomy could bring constructive improvements. This is one of the few 'CSCW' books to provide such a balanced viewpoint. What distinguishes this book from many similar CSCW / groupware promotions is that it (correctly, I believe) prioritizes its focus on the 'group' rather than the 'wares'. Recommended for business / management-oriented overviews and introductions to this area.


Layzell, Paul et al. (eds.)
Computer Support for Co-Operative Work , New York: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1994.

This book is a collection of papers from a May 1994 CSCW seminar. It offers an overview of issues, tools, and implementation concerns, as well as reviews of specific application products available at that date. Given its lack of an index and bibliography, the book is not really a good recommendation for a basic reference in the field. IEEE did a much better job with the Marca and Bock collection of CSCW papers (listed herein).

Marca, David, and Geoffrey Bock
Groupware : Software for Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (IEEE Computer Society Press Tutorial), New York: IEEE Computer Society, 1992.

Highly recommended as a personal favorite. At the time of its initial publication, this book contained the highest percentage of what I considered the best CSCW background papers of any collection I've ever seen. Baecker's collection is more extensive, but this one remains my pick for a personal recommendation.


Olson, Margrethe H. (ed.)
Technological Support for Work Group Collaboration, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1989.

Until the arrival of edited collections in the early 1990's, this was my favorite compendium on the emerging field of CSCW. One reason is that the title of this book is perhaps the most cogent label for what we came to call "CSCW". In particular, I recommend Robert Johansen's keynote article (pp. 1-32) as a classic summary of his balanced views. Calvin Pava's article "Organizational architecture for distributed computing" is one of the earliest expositions of the notion of an 'organizational interface' -- i.e., the idea that CSCW innovations require consideration of work / technology interplay at the enterprise level (as opposed to one user / one workstation). Mark Stefik and John Seely Brown's "Toward portable ideas" is a good overview of Xerox PARC's early CSCW research experiences. All in all, I still have a fondness for this collection, but I will admit it seems increasingly dated as time goes on. I still recommend this as a good source for historial and topical context in the early days of CSCW.



Secondary Literature on CSCW and Groupware


Bowers, John M., and Steven D. Benford (eds.)
Studies in Computer Supported Cooperative Work : Theory, Practice, and Design, (Human Factors in Information Technology series, Vol. 8), Amsterdam / New York: Elsevier North-Holland, 1991.

This is a good collection of essays on CSCW / groupware design issues. The authors do a good job of linking these design issues to broader theoretical concerns, particularly as they pertain to human factors or cognitive engineering concerns.


Bowker, Geoffrey, Gasser, Les, and Susan Leigh Star (eds.)
Social Science, Technical Systems and Cooperative Work : The Great Divide, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (Computers, Cognition and Work Series), 1997.

This collection is "forthcoming" at the time of this compilation. Not reviewed. Available in two formats:

Bullen, C., and J. Bennett

[1990a]: Groupware in Practice: An Interpretation of Work Experience, Cambridge MA: MIT Center for Information Systems Research Report no. 205, March 1990.

[1990b]: Learning from User Experience with Groupware, CSCW '90: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Los Angeles, ACM, 1990, pp. 291-302.

This paper (published in two venues in 1990) was the first major empirical survey of actual usage of groupware in business organizations. Even though this survey is quite dated in its details and data, the points which these authors found evident at that time are still as valid today. Highly recommended as essential reading both from a historical and a conceptual point of view.

NOTE: Fortunately, this paper has been reprinted yet one more time -- in Baecker's 1993 compendium (listed above).

Coleman, David (ed.)
Groupware '92, San Mateo CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 1992.

This is a collection of papers culled from the inaugural conference on the subject of groupware. Some of the articles are substantive, and some have the character of brief notes. Furthermore, most of the contributions are from industrial developers and vendors. These are often as self-promoting as insightful. As a result, this is definitely a secondary source of literature.

Connolly, John, and Lyn Pemberton (eds.)
Linguistic Concepts and Methods in CSCW, London / Berlin: Springer-Verlag (Computer Supported Cooperative Work Series), 1996.

Because collaboration necessarily entails communication, linguistic issues have always been highlighted in work on CSCW theory and groupware applications. This collection is the first volume to specifically focus on the intersection of CSCW and linguistic issues.


Cook, P., C. Ellis, M. Graf, G. Rein, and T. Smith

Project Nick: Meetings Augmentation and Analysis, ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems, Vol. 5, no. 2 (April 1987), pp. 132-146.

This is still one of my all-time favorite papers on issues related to networked meeting and conferencing systems.

De Michelis, G.
Computer Support for Cooperative Work, Butler Cox Foundation Report, London, October 1990.

This hard-to-locate proprietary report publication is one of the most interesting early attempts to categorize and delimit the activities which comprise 'cooperative work'. It is also one of the best light introductions to the fields of CSCW and groupware -- an exceptionally good initial reading for (e.g.) managers.

DeSanctis, G., and B. Gallupe
A foundation for the study of group decision support systems, Management Science, Vol. 33 (1987), no. 5, pp. 589-609.

In addition to being one of the best early analyses of group decision support issues, this paper first presented a classificational matrix for applications which (in abbreviated form) became Robert Johansen's famous 'time / space matrix' for categorizing groupware generally.

Diaper, Dan, and Colston Sanger (eds.)
CSCW in Practice: An Introduction and Case Studies, London / Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1993.

This Springer volume in their Computer Supported Cooperative Work Series is a general introduction to issues and themes, drawn from work centered in the UK. As a general introduction, the book is all right. The focus is fairly general, and the level of detail is light. I've downgraded this book to secondary status because material which is just as substantive (and much more detailed) can be found in any of the volumes listed in the "core literature" section above. However, there is one real "gem" in this collection: Seward, R. R., Diaper, D., and C. Sanger, The Pod: A purpose-built environment to support group working, Chapter 10, pp. 151-162. This is the only published overview I've ever found on ICL's remarkable experimental group work environment The Pod. This article is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of GDSS / GSS technologies, as well as anyone interested in HCI aspects of IT support for co-located collaborative tasks.

Grantham, Charles, and Larry D. Nichols
The Digital Workplace : Designing Groupware Platforms, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993.

This is an atypical book in the CSCW / groupware arena. The focus is predominantly on the human (work style, process analysis, personal) aspects of organizational rather than technological innovation per se. There are a number of interesting and unique 'spins' in the discussion (e.g., the allusion to the enneagram as a focal construct). The scope of discussion is broad, and the depth is not as shallow as the text's relative mass might suggest. A cursory glance might leave you with the impression this is a relatively vague or shallow example of the overheated management 'book of the month' marketplace. I don't think such a quick impression is accurate at all -- it is contradicted by the very insightful blending of historical and systemic perspectives, as well as the very extensive mass of literature upon which this book draws. I tend to see this book as an adept distillation of technical, social, and organizational background into a readable form light enough for casual readers to absorb. A good book for giving specialists (technical and managerial) a broad overview of organizational redesign laced with numerous pointers for deeper exploration.


Greenberg, Saul, Hayne, Stephen, and R. Rada
Designing Groupware for Real-Time Drawing, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Collaborative graphic manipulation is perhaps the most time-critical and coordination-intensive type of groupware application so far attempted. This book provides an overview of the issues relating to real-time collaborative drawing, based on the extensive experiences of their university research groups. As such, this is an eminently practical book on the subject. Furthermore, the issues and points raised in this book are of more general applicability to other types of fast-paced IT-supported collaboration.


Grudin, Jonathan
Why CSCW applications fail: Problems in the design and evaluation of organizational interfaces, in CSCW 88: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, New York: ACM, 1988, pp. 85-93.

A classic paper outlining general causes for failed groupware deployments in organizations -- particularly large-scale ones. Grudin insightfully points his finger at the sociopolitical issues (e.g., asymmetrical empowerments) which underlie what had theretofore been presumed a purely technical / objective outcome.

Hendriks, P.R.H. (ed.)
Groupware'91: The Potential of Team and Organisational Computing, Utrecht: Software Engineering Reseach Centre, 1991.

This slim volume is the proceedings from a conference sponsored by the Software Engineering Reseach Centre. There are three contributions which in my opinion make this a volume worth tracking down:

Johnson-Lenz, P., & T. Johnson-Lenz
Groupware: The Process and Impacts of Design Choices, in Kerr, E., and S. Hiltz (eds.), Computer-Mediated Communication Systems: Status and Evaluation, New York: Academic Press, 1982.

This article is primarily recommended for its historical status -- the initial definition and usage of the term 'groupware'. NOTE: This is the global publication of a 1981 collection entitled Studies of Computer-Mediated Communications Systems: A Synthesis of the Findings edited by Hiltz & Kerr, Research Report #16, Computerized Conferencing and Communications Center, New Jersey Institute of Technology. The version of the Johnson-Lenz paper appearing in this 1981 collection was entitled: Consider the groupware: Design and group process impacts on communication in the electronic medium.

Kling, Rob
Organizational analysis in computer science, The Information Society, Vol. 9, no. 2 (Mar-Jun, 1993), pp. 71-87.

Rob Kling (one of the main voices for social / organizational focus in IT studies) gives a concise argument on the need for paying attention to organizational issues in requirements engineering, as well as laying out the need for revision in the way we teach university students about how to go about designing IT support. Not a CSCW article per se, but very relevant to the issues of how to prepare future researchers and developers for the problems which have been recognized in CSCW work to date. Revised version available online at:

Kraemer, K., and J. King Computer-Based Systems for Cooperative Work and Group Decision Making, ACM Computing Surveys, Vol. 20, No. 2 (June 1988), pp. 115-146.

Usually cited as a landmark survey of work in group decision support systems (GDSS), this article is deservedly considered a landmark in CSCW generally. The broad scope, care for categorizations, insights on critical issues, and extensive bibliography all combine to make this a key paper in anyone's CSCW files.

Malone, Thomas
Designing Organizational Interfaces, in Proceedings of the CHI '85 Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems, San Francisco: ACM, 1985, pp. 66-71.

This is my favorite Malone paper, and one which I wish he (or others) had followed up on. The general idea of the article is that IT must fit the entirety of organizations, and that the already-emerging networked IT applications of increasing interest could not be crafted and evaluated with attention solely directed to the conventional single-user-at-the-interface scenario. Perhaps just as important was Malone's sketching of four 'perspectives' from which organizational IT interventions might be delineated.

Robinson, Mike, and Liam Bannon
Questioning representations, in Bannon, L., M. Robinson, and K. Schmidt (eds.), ECSCW'91: Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991, pp. 219-233.

Perhaps not the most elegant paper either of these two 'CSCW veterans' have written, but one of the most interesting. They raise a number of issues having to do with the representationalism which was constraining conceptualizations of what CSCW and groupware were all about. Also, this paper was the main inaugural presentation of the concept of 'flipover', which is a key problem in considering concrete IT interventions into group work processes -- especially those involving knowledge sharing and decision formulation.

Shapiro, Dan, Tauber, Michael, and Roland Traunmuller (eds.)
The Design of Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware Systems (Human Factors in Information Technology series, Vol 12), Amsterdam: Elsevier North-Holland, 1996.

This volume covers many issues of human factors / human engineering as they relate to the construction of effective groupware artifacts. It is one of the few books which unites HCI and CSCW for practitioners.


Sharples, Mike (ed.)
Computer Supported Collaborative Writing, London / Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1993.

This volume in Springer's Computer Supported Cooperative Work Series concentrates tightly on group editing and document generation. Owing to this constrained focus, the materials offered herein are of considerably more referential depth (and, to my mind, utility) than other volumes in the Springer series. Collaborative editing / writing applications have been one of the more prominently covered aspects of CSCW, and one might wonder what this particular volume offers. To this I would answer: a number of general theoretical notions not commonly found elsewhere, plus a focus on collaborative writing research from the UK -- research not widely accessible in mainstream CSCW venues.


Thomas, Peter J.
CSCW Requirements and Evaluation, London / Berlin: Springer-Verlag (Computer Supported Cooperative Work Series), 1995.

A great deal of attention has been given to requirements specification, testing, and usability evaluation for IT applications supporting individual workers. Now that group IT systems are becoming commercial reality, it has become apparent that these issues must be explored anew from a distinctly collective perspective. Questions on groupware testing, evaluation, etc., have become increasingly common (and desperate) in the various CSCW / groupware forums. Thomas' book is one of the very few references on these issues.


Winograd, Terry, and Fernando Flores
Understanding Computers and Cognition, Norwood NJ: Ablex, 1986.

Perhaps this selection requires some explanation (at least to those who are not already 'initiated' into the CSCW research community). It is over a decade old, and it's not uniquely focussed on group work per se. What makes this essential reading?

This very popular critique of the rationalistic tradition in IT studies (particularly AI) had a major impact on practitioners' attitudes toward basic assumptions, 'users', and design practices. At CSCW'96, the panel discussion on the state of CSCW referred to this book as a starting point in the evolution of the field as we know it. The book outlines a framework for coordination of action based on a subset of John Searle's speech act taxonomy. This framework was in turn the functional model embodied in The Coordinator from Action Technologies (Flores' company) -- the earliest commercially-marketed coordination system. The intersection of this book and the CSCW community goes far deeper than speech acts and coordination systems, although those two themes alone would qualify it for this listing of essential literature. I would still bet that this is the most widely read single book in the CSCW community. As a result, it is highly recommended as a (a) provocative inspiration, (b) discussion of key ideas in early coordination systems research (i.e., early 'workflow' formulations), and (c) a window into the 'mindset' of a majority of the CSCW community's denizens. As such, this book (along with Lucy Suchman's Plans and Situated Actions) has to be considered part of the CSCW canon.


Yankee Group
Communication, Collaboration, Coordination: The "Three Cs" of Workgroup Computing, YankeeWatch, Vol. 3, No. 3 (March 1995).

I like this article for the fact that it is a further illustration of the attempts to characterize CSCW in terms of qualities or features of the work activity (cf. De Michelis' 1990 essay cited herein). This paper has been made available online (with permission) at:


Proceedings of the Annual CSCW Conferences


There is an annual CSCW conference whose venue alternates between North America (even-number years) and Europe (odd-numbered years). The proceedings from these conferences can be valuable sources of material and ideas.

The proceedings from the first three CSCW conferences (Austin Texas, 1986; Portland Oregon, 1988; and London / Gatwick, 1989) are not available except through library loan, friendly borrowing, or black magic. There is one exception -- a listing of the papers from CSCW 88 (with abstracts) can be obtained online at:

The proceedings volumes which are available are (quite naturally) 'mixed bags' containing items of varying focus and value. In addition, they are not inexpensive. Some of the better papers from these (and subsequent) conferences have been reprinted in the collections listed elsewhere in this Web page. As a result ...

I strongly recommend you take the time to check on availability of the proceedings volumes through free channels, and that you cross-check to see if the paper(s) you're interested in are available in other volumes.

Otherwise, the following CSCW conference proceedings are currently available:

CSCW 90 Los Angeles : Proceedings of the Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, October 7-10, 1990, New York: ACM Press, 1990.


Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work ECSCW '91


CSCW 92 Sharing Perspectives: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, October 31 to November 4, 1992, Toronto, New York: ACM Press, 1992.


Third European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 13-17 September 1993, Milano, Italy : ECSCW '93.


CSCW 94 Transcending Boundaries: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, October 22-26, 1994, Chapel Hill NC, New York: ACM Press, 1994.


Fourth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Stockholm, Sweden : ECSCW '95.

Conference materials from ECSCW95 are still available. Information on these and the conference itself can be obtained at the ECSCW95 main site:

CSCW 96 Cooperating Communities: Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, November 16-20, 1996, Boston MA, New York: ACM Press, 1996.


Information about the conference can be accessed at:


Other Relevant Literature


Bush Vannevar
As we may think, Atlantic Monthly, no. 176 (June 1945), 101-108.

This essay is perhaps the seminal publication on the affordances of how information technology could constructively support an individual 'knowledge worker'. As such, this paper is a referential landmark for anyone tracing the history of IT work support. You can read the article online at:

Johansen, Robert, and Mary O'Hara-Devereaux
Globalwork : Bridging Distance, Culture, and Time, New York: Jossey-Bass, 1994.

Johansen's "time and space" categorization of groupware is a canonical reference element in CSCW. In this book, he and O'Hara-Devereaux explore the general issues of organizational adaptation necessary to survive and prosper in the increasingly globalized business milieu. This is not a book on CSCW per se, but it does a good job of reviewing those issues of organizational spatio-temporal concern which motivate consideration of networked IT solutions.



The Scandinavian movement conventionally labelled participatory design (PD) represents the most widely cited approach to involving stakeholders in the process of selecting, designing, developing, and evaluating information technology interventions. The historical linkages between the PD and the CSCW communities derive from (a) PD practitioners' consistent awareness of the reciprocal interdependencies involved in collaborative work and (b) PD practices' emphasis on collective action, cooperative engagement, and mutual learning between stakeholders and designers.

Bjerknes, Gro, Ehn, Pelle, and Morten Kyng (eds.)
Computers and Democracy : A Scandinavian Challenge, Avebury (UK): Aveshot, 1987.

This collection of essays is perhaps the best compendium of writings by the seminal PD practitioners on their theoretical stance, which prioritizes the sociopolitical aspects of work over the technical interests which commonly dominate software engineering projects. I noticed during my years in Sweden that this was the book that my Swedish friends most commonly cited to outsiders interested in workplace democracy and participatory design.


Briefs, U., C. Ciborra, and L. Schneider (eds.)
Systems Design For, With, and By the Users (Proceedings of the IFIP WG9.1 Working Conference, September 1982), Amsterdam: Elsevier North-Holland, 1983.

This has to be considered the primary compendium on the 'first wave' of participatory design efforts -- the Scandinavian trade union projects on information technology interventions up through the 1970's. These projects (focussed on worker education and management / labor relationships) set the stage for the 'second wave' direct engagement practices made famous by the Aarhus group.


Communications of the ACM
Volume 36, no. 4 (April 1993), Feature issue on Participatory Design.

Docherty, P., Fuchs-Kittowski, K., Kolm, P., and L. Mathiassen (eds.)
System Design for Human Development and Productivity : Participation and Beyond, Amsterdam: Elsevier North-Holland, 1987.

This is another key compendium of papers on PD theory and practice. It is difficult to choose which one of the 1987 ('middle epoch' of the movement) collections to recommend if only one is to be read (the Bjerknes et al. volume or this one). Computers and Democracy is the more popular of the two, but this one contains much to recommend it.


Ehn, Pelle
Work-Oriented Design of Computer Artifacts, Stockholm: Arbetslivcentrum (Swedish Center for Working Life), 1988.

This book provides a broad overview of the conceptual and philosophical background to the PD movement by one of its best-known practitioners.

Greenbaum, Joan, and Morten Kyng (eds.)
Design at Work : Cooperative Design of Computer Systems, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991.

This most recent collection of papers extends the scope of PD to practice -- both in the sense of emphasizing situated practice in the workplace, and in the sense of outlining tactics for engaging stakeholders in the design process.


Schuler, Douglas, and Aki Namioka (eds.)
Participatory Design : Principles and Practices, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993.


Sproull, Lee S., and Sarah Kiesler
Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1991.

This is still my favorite general introduction to computer-mediated communications (CMC).

Suchman, Lucy
Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication, Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

This is a landmark book for its exposition of the degree to which human-machine interaction is 'situated' -- i.e., embedded in and delimited by circumstantial context. Although this book is not really about CSCW per se, Suchman's emphasis on situated features of work has been embraced as a de facto attitude among CSCW researchers. Her theoretical stance and her background in anthropology have served to promote ethnographic methods in addressing work groups and their needs. As such, this book (along with Winograd & Flores' Understanding Computers and Cognition) has to be considered part of the CSCW canon.


von Krogh, Georg, and Johan Roos
Organizational Epistemology, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.

A recent (and well-informed) application of autopoietic theory to enterprise knowledge building. This book has a broad scope, and the authors bring a wide variety of the relevant literature to bear on the issues they address. In any case, this book's novel outlook sets it apart from the myriad current titles on enterprise knowledge building and knowledge processes. The invocation of autopoietic theory makes this one of the few such books to link the discussion of 'organizational knowledge' to the unavoidable deeper issues of epistemology and communication.

A review of this book (by Thomas Bertels) can be accessed at:


Zuboff, Shoshanna
In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power, New York: Basic Books, 1988.

The critical focus of Zuboff's analysis is applied artificial intelligence -- i.e., expert systems -- in production work. As such, this book is not really about CSCW or groupware. However, in the course of her critique, she makes several good points which are relevant to group IT applications. In particularly, I've found her distinction between technologies which 'automate' versus those which 'informate' to be very useful in differentiating among potential courses of IT solutions for work groups and organizations.


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