[Research] Cultural differences in the CSCW world

This old paper (1994) entitled "CSCW: History and Focus" by Jonathan Grudin tackles the issue of CSCW research agenda and its history. it also shows the differences in emphasis in the US, Europe, Japan.

European contributions to CSCW are often driven by philosophy or social, economic or political theory. Some European contributions to CSCW are explicitly grounded in the writings of Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Elias, Marx, Vygotsky or others. (This does not characterize all European computer science or informatics, much of which is more formal.) The result may be a broad formulation of system requirements or an implementation of a platform to support a range of applications that in concert are to provide organizational support.

The distinct European CSCW also reflects cultural norms in European countries, such as greater national homogeneity, co-determination laws, stronger trade unions, and more extensive social welfare. At the risk of oversimplifying, greater cultural homogeneity can lead to the acceptance of a welfare state, which in turn can lead to a systems development focus on skill augmentation (in contrast to automation) that is justified on humanitarian but also economic grounds: Workers losing automated jobs must be indirectly supported anyway. The Scandinavian participatory or collaborative design approach reflects these priorities.