Multiple media in group work : emphasising individual users in distributed and real-time CSCW systems
Published inJyväskylä studies in computing
Samuli Pekkolan väitöstutkimuksessa selvitettiin, millaisia reaaliaikaista ja hajautettua ryhmätyötä tukevien tietojärjestelmien eli ryhmätyöohjelmistojen tulisi olla ja miten ne tulisi toteuttaa. Hajautettujen, verkotettujen ja verkottuneiden organisaatioiden määrä on kasvanut viime vuosina. Samalla niiden toimintatavat ja liiketoimintaprosessit ovat muuttuneet ja ryhmätyöskentelyn tarpeet lisääntyneet. Vaikka työtekijät eivät työskentelisikään samassa paikassa, dokumenttien ja muiden tietojen on oltava helposti saatavilla, ja kommunikoinnin kollegojen kanssa on onnistuttava.Computer supported co-operative work (CSCW) is a multidisciplinary research discipline studying technological solutions to support different kinds of works in social contexts. During the past years, particular interest has been laid on distributed and real-time works. Systems to support these are numerous ranging from videoconferences and tele-meetings to mobile connections. But, technologies are usually designed from the organisational viewpoint, for a purpose. Changing work practices and individual users' preferences are often not considered enough so the systems are unusable in varying situations or purposes. In this dissertation, the focus is on individual users and on support of their dissimilar work practices. In addition, no definite context, situation or purpose is emphasised. Instead, the aim is to study generic situations so that the CSCW system can be used in various ways in multiple different cases. As a hypothesis, it is assumed that this can be achieved by combining multiple communication and collaboration media, for instance audio, video, text chat, and whiteboard, into an aggregate. In this dissertation, it will be studied why, how, and in what way can these media be integrated, and furthermore, whether such aggregate improves individual users' work practices. Theoretical bases are derived from CSCW studies. An application is built and introduced into two different organisations where it is evaluated by using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Consequently, the dissertation reports the results of a constructive research process. The main contributions can be divided into three categories: the proving of the hypothesis and other theoretical suggestions; technically-oriented suggestions, such as integrating the media at the presentation level; and development problems because of the disparity of CSCW and information systems development (ISD) disciplines. This study, first, suggests that future CSCW systems should combine multiple communication and collaboration media into an aggregate, second, it proposes how it can be done, and third, shows a need for ISD methods from the individual users' viewpoint ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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