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Using Activity Theory to develop requirements analysis framework for Collaborative Working Environments

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3 Author(s)
Wangsa, I.T. ; Fac. Comput., Eng. & Technol., Staffordshire Univ., Stafford, UK ; Uden, L. ; Mills, S.F.

During the last five years, the technical development of Collaborative Working Environments (CWEs) has received significant attention. However, a number of research studies have indicated the need to address the human, social, cultural and organizational aspects of CWE requirements. While several requirements analysis methods and techniques, such as goal oriented approach, scenario based analysis, use case driven analysis, task analysis (hierarchical task analysis, multiple aspect based task analysis and groupware task analysis) are reviewed, none of these approaches is sufficient to handle the human, social, cultural and organizational aspects of CWE requirements. Activity Theory, as a philosophical and cross-disciplinary framework for studying different forms of human practices as development processes with both individuals and social levels interlinked at the same time, is proposed as a theoretical lens to analyze CWE requirements in this study. In addition, several principles and concepts of activity theory such as tool mediation, contradiction, hierarchical structure, object-orientedness, rules, and boundary crossing, are believed to offer significant contributions especially in handling the human, social, cultural, and organizational aspects of CWE requirements.

Published in:

Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design (CSCWD), 2011 15th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

8-10 June 2011

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