EUSSET Colloquium on Challenges and Complexity in CSCW

The next EUSSET Colloquium is approaching! It will be held on the 14th of December, from 16:30 to 18:00 CET. As usual, we will focus on two themes in the colloquium: (1) the challenges of designing deployable CSCW applications and (2) the complexity of care networks.

In the first part of the colloquium, Khuloud Abou Amsha, Troyes University of Technology, will lead a discussion on the challenges of introducing new applications that support cooperation into the field, taking existing technologies and policies into consideration. The second part of the colloquium will feature a discussion, led by Madeleine Renyi, Gesundes Kinzigtal GmbH, on the potential of using a taxonomy of collaboration complexity in homecare to support technology adoption. Below you will find further information on what to expect from each discussion.

Make sure to register by noon on the 13th of December 2022 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!

How far can CSCW’s implications for design go? Challenge of designing a deployable CSCW application

Khuloud Abou Amsha, 16:30 – 17:15 CEST

Since Grudin analyzed why CSCW applications fail (Grudin, 1988), much research has addressed the problem of disparity between who does the additional work and who gets the benefit to enhance application appropriation. However, the breakdown of intuitive decision-making, which makes it difficult for managers to appreciate the potential benefit of deploying a CSCW application, remains an issue. Recently, Christensen et al. (2020) preached about this issue in a workshop entitled “Why Do CSCW Insights Lose Out to Management Intuitions?”

Moreover, the democratization of the use of technologies (in life and work) motivates governments and legislators to provide/impose the use of e-government services which generates a lot of legislation that regulates the features of these systems. This adds a second layer of possible breakdowns of intuitive decision-making involving legislators.

We can see more research interested in considering /informing policy. For example, Jackson et al. (2014) present a model for understanding change processes and emergence in social computing in which policy, practice, and design show up in complex interdependencies or knots.

 Introducing a new application that supports cooperation becomes more arduous as the space of any intervention is already full of technologies and policies that might be difficult to replace or ignore. Shifting the focus on the ‘large scale’ with concepts like policy knot, infrastructuring, and ecologies of artifacts help characterize the phenomena. However, using this new understanding to design integrable and usable CSCW applications remains challenging. So, the question remains: Is designing a deployable application even relevant to CSCW research? In this discussion round, we will reflect on the issues above, aiming at ways to enhance and emphasize the impact of CSCW research.


Christensen, Lars Rune, Erickson, Ingrid, Harper, Richard, Lewkowicz, Myriam, and Nauwerck, Gerolf. Why Do CSCW Insights Lose Out to Management Intuitions? In: ECSCW’20. Proceedings of 18th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Siegen, Germany, 13 – 17 June 2022. EUSSET

Grudin, Jonathan (1998). Why CSCW Applications Fail: Problems in the Design and Evaluation of Organizational Interfaces. In: CSCW’88. Proceedings of the 1988 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Portland, Oregon, United States. New York: ACM Press, pp. 85‑93.

Jackson, Steven J., Tarleton Gillespie, and Sandy Payette (2014). The Policy Knot: Re-Integrating Policy, Practice and Design in CSCW Studies of Social Computing ». In: CSCW’14. Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social ComputingBaltimore, Maryland. New York: pp. 588‑602.

Proposed Readings

Cormi, Clément, Abou Amsha, Khuloud, Tixier, Matthieu, and Lewkowicz, Myriam (2020). How the Local Domestication of a Teleconsultation Solution Is Influenced by the Adoption of a National Policy? In: ECSCW’20. Proceedings of 18th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Siegen, Germany, 13 – 17 June 2022. EUSSET

Cormi, Clément, Khuloud Abou-Amsha, Matthieu Tixier, and Myriam Lewkowicz (2022). Considering the Artifact Ecology When Supporting the Evolution of Practices – Analyzing the Parallel Journeys of Two Teleconsultation Software in a General Hospital. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 6, no. GROUP.

Complexity of Care Networks – Can a Taxonomy of Collaboration Complexity in Homecare Support Technology Adoption?

Madeleine Renyi, 17:15 – 18:00 CEST

There is a huge knowledge base and great research interest in the field of care and care networks. Many studies have defined the nature of care giving as cooperative work (Procter et al., 2014; Consolvo et al., 2004). There have been several workshops on CSCW conferences through the last 20 years, aiming at a universal understanding of the concept of care networks. In this colloquium we will be focusing on homecare. 

In homecare, networks are mostly formed by professional, semi-professional, and informal actors, who collaborate to care for people in need. Typical challenges in this context include communication breakdowns, lack of transparency in the tasks and roles of actors in the care network, scheduling and temporal alignment of activities, coordination of handoffs, balance and fairness in task management, reconciliation of caregiving with work and life, trust building, easing of tensions among caregivers and dynamic changes in usual care arrangements (Schurgin et al., 2021; Tang et al., 2018; Renyi et al., 2017; Renyi et al., 2018; Renyi et al., 2019). The work in a care network can be quite dynamic. It requires complex knotworking to reflect these dynamics (Engeström et al., 1999; Abou Amsha et al., 2021). An infrastructural lens was put on by many studies to examine collaborative care – see e.g., Bossen and Markussen (2010) and Danholt and Langstrup (2012). In summary, factors, such as the composition of a care network and the opportunities for exchange within it, determine the success of collaboration in a care network (Broese van Groenou et al., 2016). 

Starting from the taxonomy to help capture the complexities of care coordination proposed in Renyi et al. (2022), the discussion in the colloquium will be directed towards drafting answers for questions like: Does classifying the composition of a network help reducing the complexity of the collaboration? How can this further effect the design of care collaboration technology? Should research focus on a design “one-size-fits-all solution” to support care network collaboration or individual solutions with limited functionalities?


Abou Amsha, Khuloud; Bossen, Claus; Grönvall, Erik; and Myriam Lewkowicz (2021). Computer-Supported Knotworking: Design Guidelines Based on Two Case Studies from the Healthcare Domain in Europe. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 5, no. CSCW1.

Bossen, Claus, and Randi Markussen. (2010). Infrastructuring and ordering devices in health care: Medication plans and practices on a hospital ward. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), vol. 19 no. 6, pp. 615-637.

Broese van Groenou, Marjolein; Marianne Jacobs; Ilse Zwart-Olde; and Dorly J. H. Deeg (2016). Mixed care networks of community-dwelling older adults with physical health impairments in the Netherlands. Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 95–104.

Consolvo, Sunny; Peter Roessler; Brett E. Shelton; Anthony LaMarca; Bill Schilit; and Sara Bly (2004). Technology for care networks of elders. IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 22–29.

Danholt, Peter; and Henriette Langstrup (2012). Medication as Infrastructure: Decentring Self-care. Culture Unbound, vol. 4, pp. 513–532.

Engeström, Yrjö; Ritva Engeström; and Tarja Vähääho (1999). When the center does not hold: the importance of knotworking. In Chaiklin, S.; Hedegaard, M.; Jensen, U.J. (eds.): Activity theory and social practice. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, pp. 345–374.

Procter, Rob; Greenhalgh, Trisha; Wherton, Joe; Sugarhood, Paul; Rouncefields, Mark and Hinder, Sue (2014). The day-to-day co-production of aging in place. Computer Supported Cooperative Work(CSCW), vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 245-267

Renyi, Madeleine; Christophe Kunze; Sophie Rau; Melanie Rosner; and Petra Gaugisch (2017). Digitalisierung in Hilfemix-Strukturen: IT-Systeme zur Koordination von Versorgungsnetzwerken mit professionellen und informellen Pflegenden. In Pfannstiel, Mario A.; Krammer, Sandra; and Swoboda, Walter (eds): Digitale Transformation von Dienstleistungen im Gesundheitswesen III. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler, pp. 201-220.

Renyi, Madeleine, Frank Teuteberg; and Christophe Kunze (2018). ICT-Based Support for the Collaboration of Formal and Informal Caregivers – A User-Centered Design Study. In Abramowicz, Witold;. (eds): BIS 2018. Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Business Information Systems, Berlin, Germany, 18-20 July 2018. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Cham: Springer vol. 320, pp. 400–411.

Renyi, Madeleine; Melanie Rosner; Frank Teuteberg; and Christophe Kunze (2019). Collaboration in Mixed Homecare – A Study of Care Actors’ Acceptance towards Supportive Groupware. In Abramowicz, Witold; Corchuelo, Rafael (eds): BIS 2019. Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Business Information Systems. Seville, Spain 26-28 June 2019. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Cham: Springer, vol. 354, pp. 269–283.

Renyi, M., Gaugisch, P., Hunck, A. et al. (2022) Uncovering the Complexity of Care Networks – Towards a Taxonomy of Collaboration Complexity in Homecare. Computer Supported Cooperative Work(CSCW), vol. 31, 517–554 (2022).

Schurgin, Mark W.; Schlager, Mark S.; Vardoulakis, Laura M.; Pina, Laura R.; and Laren G. Wilcox. (2021). Isolation in Coordination: Challenges of Caregivers in the USA. In: CHI’21. Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 8–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan.  New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Tang, Charlotte ; Chen, Yunan; Cheng, Karen; Ngo, Victor and Mattison, John E. (2018) Awareness and handoffs in home care: coordination among informal caregivers, Behaviour & Information Technology, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 66-68.

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