Electronic behaviour settings for CSCW

AI and Society 14 (1):3-30 (2000)
Abstract
Being present in the same room not only enables people to exchange non-verbal communication but also the physical properties of the room offer opportunities for action and thus contribute to the ongoing social process. This paper discusses concepts from social and behavioural sciences to better understand the role of physical environments and artefacts with respect to cooperation among a group of people. Barker's behaviour setting theory is studied and applied to electronic settings. Requirements for ‘electronic behaviour settings’ to enable situated cooperation in CSCW across spatial and temporal distances will be derived. Electronic behaviour settings should embody their own physical behaviour, and thus provide electronic places for cooperation. Adaptation to a particular group process can be achieved through a particular constitution of the setting and its adaptation in the course of practical use. This paper studies how this concept maps to existing groupware systems and outlines from practical experience whether this concept may help users adopt groupware in their work practice. This approach will contribute to the support of situated action in computer-supported cooperative work
Keywords Behaviour setting theory  CSCW  Physical Environments  Situated action
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