Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Computer-Supported Cooperative Work Mean?

Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) consists of software tools and technology that supports a group of individuals working on projects at different sites. It is based on the principle of group coordination and collaborative activities supported through computer systems.


Techopedia Explains Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

The concept of computer-supported cooperative work was introduced by Irene Greif and Paul M. Cashman in 1984. It combines the cooperative work of individuals through networking, hardware, software, etc. The purpose is to provide identical improvements for multiple individuals working on the same or different production processes.CSCW adopts either a technology-centric or work-centric viewpoint. A technology-centric viewpoint emphasizes designing computer technology to support groups working together. A work-centric viewpoint emphasizes designing computer systems to support group work.There are 10 main dimensions inherent in CSCW:

  1. Time
  2. Space
  3. Interaction style
  4. Group size
  5. Infrastructure
  6. Context
  7. Privacy
  8. Collaborator mobility
  9. Extensibility
  10. Participant selection

These dimensions provide a rich design space through which the developers of a CSCW navigate. A face-to-face intervention includes digital white boards, electronic meeting systems, room ware and shared tables. A remote interaction includes videoconferencing, real-time groupware and electronic meeting systems.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.