EUSSET Colloquium on the Hybridism of CSCW Research and Emerging and Future Issues on Work-Life Boundaries

It is time for another interesting and insightful EUSSET Colloquium. On the 8th of December, between 16:30 and 18:00 CET, we will be discussing the hybridism of CSCW research and emerging and future issues of CSCW research on work-life boundaries.

In the first part of the colloquium, Myriam Lewkowicz, Department of Informatics and Information Systems, University of Technology of Troyes, will lead a discussion on what is understood as hybridism in CSCW contributions. The second part of the colloquium will feature a discussion led by Luigina Ciolfi, School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, on how digital technologies can play a role in addressing work/life boundaries and how CSCW knowledge and approaches can be used to understand it.

Make sure to register by the 6th of December 2021 to be able to participate. You just need to send an e-mail to communitybuilding[at] communicating your interest!

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

The EUSSET Colloquium is a forum where community members can engage in deep intellectual exchanges.

Looking for the Hybridism in CSCW Contributions

Myriam Lewkowicz, 16:30 – 17:15 CET

As said in the first editorial of the CSCW Journal: “There are many other journals which publish, say, (purely) sociological studies of work or (purely) computer science approaches to computing in the workplace. […] We want to encourage contributions which are mindful of the relations between social scientific studies of cooperative work and the computing support requirements of cooperative work. In many respects, we want to encourage hybridismin each contribution!” (Bowers, et al. 1992, pp. 1–2). At the same time, the European COMIC project started with the objective: “to develop a conceptual foundation for designing computational mechanisms of interaction for CSCW applications that can support the complex task of articulating distributed cooperative activities” (Simone and Schmidt, 1994). The goal of this discussion is to reflect on what has become the hybridism in CSCW contributions.

When we look at past and current CSCW research, it becomes clear that the primary goal of CSCW (in its practice-centered computing perspective) has always been providing conceptual frameworks that could describe the cooperative activities in a way that could inform systems developers. This would only be possible if models of cooperative practices can be built and refined, so that they are understandable by systems developers. However, very little work has focused on how to support modeling and analysis of CSCW-related situations. 

This may be the reason why it is difficult to identify how CSCW research has managed to inform the education of systems analysts and developers, and why, thirty years after the first CSCWJ editorial, we still notice (and experience) systems being developed and deployed that do not fit the practice of their users and create to harmful situations. 

Therefore, in this part of the colloquium, we will be focusing on the following questions: 

  • Is there a place for research on systems design in CSCW?
  • Is it worth it to revisit the notation for computational mechanisms of interaction?
  • How could this be organized?


Bowers, John M., et al. (1992). Editorial. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): An International Journal, vol. 1, no. 1–2, March 1992, pp. 1–5.

Simone, C., Schmidt, K. (eds) (1994). A Notation for Computational Mechanisms of Interaction, ESPRIT-BRA COMIC #6225, Deliverable 3.3, 1994 –

Suggested Reading

Schmidt, K., & Simone, C. (1996). Coordination mechanisms: Towards a conceptual foundation of CSCW systems design. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 5(2–3), 155–200.

Simone, C., Divitini, M., & Schmidt, K. (1995). A notation for malleable and interoperable coordination mechanisms for CSCW systems. Proceedings of Conference on Organizational Computing Systems, 44–54.

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work-Life: Emerging and future issues

Luigina Ciolfi, 17:15 – 18:00 CET

Over the past 20 years, computing power has reached out of the traditional and rather location-bound desktop PC in the workplace, as digital technology has become embedded in a variety of artefacts and activities and has permeated nearly every aspect of everyday life. Digitally-mediated collaborative interactions also characterise leisure, domestic activities and other private spheres of life, such as personal health management. CSCW research extended the range of domains to focus on beyond work settings, but is also increasingly concerned in how digital technologies can play a role in addressing work/life boundaries, aspirations to balance, and sustainable lifestyles. The recent changes to work and socialising practices during the COVID-19 pandemic have also highlighted the roles that technology can play in threatening or redefining the boundaries of the workday in terms of time, space, and activities, the expectations of online availability for both work and socialising. The colloquium will raise questions such as:

  • What role can CSCW knowledge and approaches play in understanding current and emerging work-life boundaries and (Im)balances? 
  • How can we contribute to the design of tools and systems that address work-life boundaries?
  • What emerging phenomena in the “new normal” of hybrid work pose challenges to CSCW research on work-life boundaries?

Suggested reading:

Ciolfi, L. and Lockley, E. (2018), “From Work to Life and Back Again: Examining the digitally-mediated work/life practices of a group of knowledge workers”, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 27:3-6, 803- 839

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