Collaborative Technologies, Applications, and Uses

Collaborative Technologies, Applications, and Uses

Ewan Oiry (Université de la Méditerranée, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-652-5.ch027


Is it still possible to draw up a state of arts about collaborative technologies? For 20 years now, reflections on these technologies have become the subject of ascientific discipline in its own right: computer supported cooperative work (CSCW). Since this term was fashioned in 1984 by Irene Greif and Paul M. Cashman, research scientists of extremely diverse disciplinary origins (i.e., ergonomics, psychology, linguistics, sociology, etc.) have invested in research which has been presented in a large number of conferences (the main one being the biannual “CSCW” conference which spawned a “sister” conference in Europe called “ECSCW”), in a specialist magazine (CSCW), in dozens of books, and hundreds of articles. CSCW covers a wide range of works whose state of arts begins to be a bit difficult to draw. In spite of all those works, uses of collaborative technologies continue to be a major issue in developing electronic human resource management (e-HRM). In fact, developing cooperation among employees is often an objective of e-HRM, but, as in other domains of firms, those technologies are generally under-used in comparison with what is waiting before their implementation. In this article, we develop the idea that a better understanding of how we can precisely define “uses” and how they appear—or not—is necessary to understand this phenomenon of under-use. In the first part of this article, we will precise the main dimensions of the collaborative technologies field. In a second part, we will present the most recent development of this reflection, which can be considered as one major basis for future works in this discipline.

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