Re: Groupware Anthropology - Any ideas???

Peter Charles (
Sun, 08 Dec 1996 20:12:43 GMT

"Dr. Yoni Mizrachi" <> wrote:

>Shalom All,
>I am writing an article on Anthropological Aspects of Groupware . I am
>looking for sources on anthropological studies related to human-computer
>interface and
>specifically about groupware and internet.
>Any suggestions???
>Any suggestions for directions worth pursuing??
>What do you think???

>Thank You in Advance

>Dr. Yoni Mizrachi
>Info Plus Ltd
>University of Haifa

I'm a fourth year undergrad at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
with 12 years experience in the Systems field. Unfortunately, I do
not have sources for you, only a few thoughts.

The impact of groupware on bureaucracies and the bureaucratic culture
is probably worth some investigation. We all know that the control
and manipulation of information in a bureaucracy is one of the sources
of power. The setting of policy, procedural standards and their
enforcement is another. I believe that groupware threatens both due
to the virtually uncontrolled lateral communications that it makes
possible (far more than EMail), and the setting of de facto standards
that result from this communication. This weakens hierarchy, hence
the resistence to groupware in some organizations (my own employer
included.) Some analogies to consider could be the attempt in the
former Eastern Block to control FAX and photocopiers to diminish the
spread of samizdat publications

Is this sort of thing of any interest to you?

Peter Charles