CSCW and International Business

Headlong tempos of the international economic, financial development and further globalization of the international economy necessitates intense integration of the computer- based technologies into the business intercourse and personal communication. One of the most significant advancements of this field is the so called Computer Support Cooperative Work.

The term was firstly introduced by the leading computer scientists Irene Greif and Paul Cashman in 1984. At the very outset of the development of this field of research, the concept was closely connected with groupware. The ambiguity of the two definitions was eliminated by the studies conducted by Professor Wilson, who in his turn defined Computer Supported Cooperative Work as a generic term, whilst the second notion is more specific and is applied to depict the technological component of the research field.

Nowadays, the integration of the CSCW systems into the business environment is one of the indispensable elements which safeguards effective competition among the business units of a specific business section. To be more exact, the aim of this paper is to illustrate that nowadays the leaders of the specific industries are capable of holding their top positions only due to the fact that CSCW technologies have been integrally introduced into their productive facilities.

Generally, paper begins with the literature review used for the purposes of this paper, which is followed by the background information about the concept. The fourth part of the paper was designed to summarize the main points of the empirical evidence (the comparative study of the legal and software development industries are provided), and the fifth part of the paper outlines the inferentially drawn conclusions of the paper.

Literature Review

Face-to-face versus computer-mediated communication: A synthesis of the experimental literature.

Journal of Business Communication.

The study is utilized as one of the primary sources for the needs of this paper, as it outlines the industrial dimensions in which the discussed concepts are operable and usable. Besides, the study effectively encapsulates the empirical evidences and the opinion of the scholars with regard to the discussed issues.

“The Appropriation of Interactive Technologies: Some Lessons from Placeless Documents”

This report manifests the main spheres of the technologically-oriented companies, which introduced the discussed system into their productive cycle. This study is particularly relevant for the needs of this paper, since it is the most informative study in terms of thorough examination of the advantages and shortcomings of the system.

“Design of a multi-media vehicle for social browsing”

The paper is aimed to discuss the commercial utility and usefulness of the existing and emerging spheres in where digital means of communication can be applied. Their value and hypothetical limitations and disadvantages are amplified and summarized. The study serves as a primary source for this report.

Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

The book is among the main sources utilized for the composition of this essay. The relevance of this study for the purposes of this paper is incontestable, due to the fact that this book amplifies the concept and makes a focus on the interpretation of the basic definitions and categories of this practice.

Background Information

Following the convergent scholarly opinion and the contemporary practice of application, CSCW can be defined as a set of technological, social, staff- oriented, psychological, financial and economic approaches and techniques. They are utilized with the intent to simplify the working process of the team and to raise the expediency, efficiency and effectiveness of the teamwork. The essential element which distinguishes this concept from the similar fields of study is the core nature of the technological advancements. In common parlance, the system is considered “computer supported” only on condition that software and hardware are used by the professional staff of the firm.

The ultimate objective of this technique is to unite the efforts exercised by the economists, financial analysts, organizational theoreticians, psychologists, HR agents, managers and other executives into the one, integrated framework. The nature of the system is based in the three fundamental core principles:

1. The principle of awareness – the staff of the targeted business unit, irrespective of the industrial functions attributed thereto, shall be constantly aware of the fact that the system is indeed launched and functioning. Moreover, the members of the team assigned to perform a specific task shall be fully informed on how this task can be effectively and promptly rendered with recourse to the available technological toolkits.

2. The principle of articulation – this fundamental postulate of the discussed concept implicates the fact that all teammates shall be informed that they shall not necessarily comprehend the natures of the actions done by their colleges of the different profile orientation, but it is indispensable for them to be basically trained about the general process. In common parlance, they shall not necessarily understand how the specific interstitial objectives of the project are accomplished, but they are expected to understand the structural points of the project.

3. The principle of appropriation – this basic foundation of the discussed conceptual model implicates that the member of the project team is always reasonably expected to accustom the capacities of the integrated computer systems. It relates to the needs of his professional obligation with perfect accuracy and precision, albeit these functions of the computer system might not have been considered by the system designers in the course of its development. Basically, the system is functioning on four levels. The criterions of classification are the timeframes and the location of the project crew.

The first situation includes the project, or the stage of the project, when the members of the team are located at the same place, and the process is done within the same timeframes. The project toolkits applied in this case includes the use of oral communicational facilities to deliver the messages of the colleagues. It also incorporates organization of effective group meeting with the applications of the wide screens aimed at elucidating the main features of the project and to familiarize the team with it.

The second dimension is different time, same place. In this section of the study, the main toolkits are video messaging and data encryption. The main stakeholders thereto are top managers and middle scale executives who are charged with the obligation to deliver instructions and directives to their subordinates.

The third dimension is same time different place dimension. This situational approach is applied to address the needs of the transnational corporations and small scale and middle scale business units which cooperating with remotely located outsourcing companies. With regard to the practical technical means, they include messaging system, quality control and quality assurance systems, video conferences and project delivery toolkits. Besides, the teams are accessed to the remotely located software and hardware with help of these tools.

Empirical Evidence and Scholarly Opinion

With regard to the opinion of the leading and most authoritative scholars of the field, it shall be accentuated that there is a convergent scientific opinion that the incorporation of the CSCW toolkits to the business environment of a targeted business is among the basic prerequisites of the effective business conduct.

Practically, the most illustrative examples are the number one international law firm Baker & McKenzie and the transnational Madrid based Amadeus IT.

With the regard to the law firm, it shall be illustrated that the CSCW framework fully operates in all dimensions. Since the offices of the firm are located on the different continents and include a wide set of legal and adjacent commercial practices, the attorneys and the administrative staff of the firm are connected by the system specifically tailored by the Microsoft for the needs of the company. The system known as oracle has been designed to deliver legal correspondence and to simplify the communicational processes of the international multilingual team. Specific attention of the designers has been contributed to the software support of the video conferences, since they are particularly important to coordinate the efforts of the lawyers when international projects are underway. Besides, system enables the expedient processing and addressing of the clients’ requests and the inquiries of the supervising state authorities.

As far as the needs of the discussed software giant is concerned, it shall be stressed that software development business is very specific in its nature. This company is oriented on the software design and development for the needs of the international and domestic tourisms. Therefore, the engine of the software used by this firm is strictly confined to the sudden changes of the factors which influence tourism business, geographical, climate and politic ones in particular.

One of the most conspicuous similarities between these organizations is the fact that their closest competitors are behind them and seemingly there is no opportunity for them to advance the discussed companies, since the importance of technology has been fully perceived by the leaders.


Having recapitulated the major points of this paper, it can be inferentially concluded that alongside with successful management and proper choice of the marketing strategies, the application of the CSCW plays an increasingly important role for the development and financial growth of any internationally-oriented business entity.

The design and elaboration of the software shall be closely linked to the profile of the targeted enterprise, since all they utilize different dimensions as the most frequently operated ones. Besides it shall be stressed that average aggregate revenue accrued by the business entity operating with application of the CSCW toolkits are considerably higher than the income generated by their competitors, which do not incorporate such toolkits in their productive cycle.