Means of Coordination

  • Peter B. Andersen
  • Peter H. Carstensen
  • Morten Nielsen
Part of the Information and Organization Design Series book series (INOD, volume 2)


The coordination of complex cooperative work is an intricate matter that can impose a sever workload on the cooperating actors—so much so, in fact, that the magnitude of coordination work can become a general obstruction to work effectiveness, flexibility, or even safety. Therefore, systems for computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) are often engaged as a means of reducing the workload of the coordination activities. In order to arrive at a design that reduces the magnitude of coordination work, some of the coordination formerly performed manually by the cooperative actors will be made part of the CSCW system; that is, certain coordination functions will be supported or even fully automated by the computer system. Workflow systems could, for example, be considered a system that reduces the coordination workload by implementing a pre-specified protocol for the routing of information, and, by providing structured forms, telling the user what information he is expected to enter, etc. In order to establish a basis for designing such systems we need a coherent conceptual understanding of the coordination work conducted.


Software Testing Coordination Mechanism Cooperative Work Computer Support Cooperative Work Chief Officer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andersen, Hans H. K., 1997, Cooperative Documentation Production In Engineering Design. The ‘Mechanisms of Interactions’ Perspective, Centre for Cognitive Informatics, Roskilde University.Google Scholar
  2. Andersen, Peter Bøgh, 1997, A theory of computer semiotics. Semiotic approaches to construction and assessment of computer systems, (Paperback, 1997), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. Bødker, S., 1996, Understanding Computer Applications in Use — a Human Activity Analysis. In Signs of Work, eds. B. Holmqvist, P. Bøgh Andersen, H. Klein & R. Posner. Gruyter, Berlin, 325–348.Google Scholar
  4. Carstensen, Peter H, 1996, Computer Supported Coordination, Writings in Computer Science (No. 61), Department of Computer Science, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.Google Scholar
  5. Carstensen, Peter H., and Carsten Sørensen, 1996, From the social to the systematic. Mechanisms supporting coordination in design, Computer Supported Cooperative Work. The Journal of Collaborative Computing, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 387–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chong, S. & Kecheng Liu, 2000, A semiotic approach to increase the design quality of agent-based information systems. In, Proc. of the 3rd Workshop of Organizational Semiotics, Univ. of Stafford.Google Scholar
  7. Falzon, P., 1983, Understanding a technical language. Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique..Google Scholar
  8. Falzon, P., 1984, The analysis and understanding of an operative language, in B. Schackel (ed.), INTERACT 1988, North-Holland.Google Scholar
  9. Fitzpatrick, Geraldine, Wiiliam J. Tolone, and Simon Kaplan, 1995, Work, Locales and Distributed Social Worlds, in H. Marmolin, Y. Sundblad, and K. Schmidt (eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work — ECSCW’95, 10–14 September, 1995, Stockholm, Sweden, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 1–17.Google Scholar
  10. Halliday, M. A. K., 1978, Language as Social Semiotics. The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning, Edward Arnold, London.Google Scholar
  11. Harper, R. R., J. A. Hughes, and D. Z. Shapiro, 1991, Harmonious Working and CSCW, Computer technology and air traffic control, in J. M. Bowers and S. D. Benford (eds.), Studies in Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Theory, Practice and Design, North-Holland, Amsterdam etc., pp. 225–234.Google Scholar
  12. Heath, Christian, Marina Jirotka, Paul Luff, and Jon Hindmarsh, 1993, Unpacking Collaboration, The Interactional Organisation of Trading in a City Dealing Room, in G. De Michelis, C. Simone, and K. Schmidt (eds.), ECSCW’93. Proceedings of the Third European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 13–17 September 1993, Milan, Italy, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp. 155–170.Google Scholar
  13. Helander, Martin, and Mitsou Nagamachi (eds.), 1992, Design for Manufacturability — A Systems Approach to Concurrent Engineering and Ergonomics, Taylor & Francis, London.Google Scholar
  14. Holmqvist, B., 1989, Work-language and perspective, Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, vol. 1, no. 1.Google Scholar
  15. Malone, T. W., K. R. Grant, K. -Y. Lai, R. Rao, and D. Rosenblitt, 1987, Semistructured messages are surprisingly useful for computer-supported coordination, TOIS, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 115–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schmidt, Kjeld, 1994, Modes and Mechanisms of Interaction in Cooperative Work, Risø National Laboratory, P.O. Box 49, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark. [Risø-R-666].Google Scholar
  17. Schmidt, Kjeld, Of maps and scripts, 1999, The status of formal constructs in cooperative work, Information and Software Technology, vol. 41, pp. 319–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schmidt, Kjeld, and Carla Simone, Coordination Mechanisms, 1996, Towards a Conceptual Foundation of CSCW Systems Design, Computer Supported Cooperative Work. The Journal of Collaborative Computing, vol. 5, no. 2-3, pp. 155–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Stiemerling, O. & A. B. Cremers, 1998. Tailorable component architectures for CSCW-systems. In, PDP’98 (6th Euromicro workshop on parallel and distributed processing), Madrid, Spain. IEEE Press, 302–308.Google Scholar
  20. Strauss, Anselm, 1985, Work and the Division of Labor, The Sociological Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter B. Andersen
  • Peter H. Carstensen
  • Morten Nielsen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations