This thesis considers two alternative views of purposeful action and shared understanding. The first, adopted by researchers in Cognitive Science, views the organization and significance of action as derived from plans, which are prerequisite to and prescribe action at whatever level of detail one might imagine. Mutual intelligibility on this view is a… (More)
Although individual use of computers is fairly widespread, in meetings we tend to leave them behind. At Xerox PARC, an experimental meeting room called the Colab has been created to study computer support of collaborative problem solving in face-to-face meetings. The long-term goal is to understand how to build computer tools to make meetings more effective.
This provocative statement by David Wellman, a sociologist of labor, can be read as a kind of challenge to work researchers. The sense in which it rings true is particularly remarkable given the large and growing body of literature dedicated to work-flow modeling, business process reengineering, and other methods aimed at representing work in the service of… (More)
Drawing on writings within the CSCW community and on recent social theory, this paper proposes that the adoption of speech act theory as a foundation for system design carries with it an agenda of discipline and control over organization members' actions. I begin with a brief review of the language/action perspective introduced by Winograd, Flores and their… (More)
This paper explores the relevance of recent feminist reconstructions of objectivity for the development of alternative practices of technology production and use. I take as my starting place the working relations that make up the design and use of technical systems. Working relations are understood as sociomaterial connections that sustain the visible and… (More)
The design of office technology relies upon underlying conceptions of human organization and action. The goal of building office information systems requires a representation of office work and its relevant objects. The concern of this paper is that although system designers recognize the centrality of procedural tasks in the office, they tend to ignore the… (More)
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This paper reports on a work-oriented design project concerned with the question of how to migrate shared, workgroup document collections currently kept on paper online. Based in a civil engineering work group, the focus of our project is a document collection called the "project files," a heterogeneous mix of documents that serve as an ongoing resource for… (More)