Groupware is software that was developed to support teams by providing team members with powerful and convenient ways to schedule their interactions, communicate with each other, and record and update group output. Another (less catchy) name for computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) is computer supported teamwork. Much of the early research in this area was focused on understanding the complex relationships between the social aspects of teamwork and the technical features of groupware and looking for ways to improve the quality both of the teamwork and the groupware. In more recent years, economists have begun to examine groupware and CSCW as well in the interest of determining efficient methods of organizing cooperative work and using groupware.
Here are a couple of good introductory articles on the special problems of databases used to support group applications:
Heer, J. Viegas, F. B., and Wattenburg, M. (2009). Voyagers and voyeurs: Supporting asynchronous collaborative visualization. Communications of the ACM, 52(1), 87-97.
Nistor, C. and Nistor, R. (2006). Groupware- modern information managerial method, Marketing & Management, 95-100. ISSN 1841 – 2416
But the fact remains that many groupware applications and the data that support them are improvised or otherwise knocked together:
Microsoft (2011). CSCW in Microsoft research group. Enabling cross-lingual conversation in real time: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/translator-052714.aspx
Having read about computer-supported work groups, describe the latest software to support the computer-supported work groups. Describe how information is shared across the groups and what databases they use to support this collaborative work. Focus your response on global corporations and how they manage projects where members of the collaborative work group could be separated by many time zones and have to deal with different cultures and different languages.
Your paper should be between three and five pages. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.
Your paper is to be structured as a point/counterpoint argument, in the following manner.
- Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely
- Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you take this position. Be sure to make the most effective case you can.
- Then present the best evidence you can, again citing appropriate sources, against your position — that is, establish what counterarguments can be made to your original position.
- Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement. By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position.
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