What makes mobile computer supported cooperative work mobile?

Schrott, G. and Gluckler, J. (2004). What makes mobile computer supported cooperative work mobile?  towards a better understanding of cooperative mobile interactions. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 60(5-6):737–752. [pdf]


The authors aims at comparing coworkers interacting using mobile devices and stationary computers. Thez sets the following questions: a) do mobile messages fiffer from stationary messages with regard to frequency and time? b) underwhat conditions do users prefer mobile over stationary communications? and c) Do people use different technologies to relate to different people?

Apart from indipendence of location, mobile collaborative work presents the same strategies and content of stationary collaborative work. However given the limits of mobile technology, mobile communication is not yet capable of entirily replacing stationary communication.

The authors asked a group of student to develop a product together interacting over stationary and mobile emails. The monitored the messages exchanges and used social network analysis techniques to indentify differences between the media.

They found that mobile messages differed from stationary messages in terms of size and that the use of mobile emails prevailed over stationary emails under conditions of stress.They found also that the social structure of mobile communication corresponded with the structure of stationary communication. This indicates that mobile communication technologies support existing communication relations rather than creating new relations.

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