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Abstract

This paper presents Real-Time Collaboration (RTC), a new and emerging type of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system that has its roots in both the telecommunications and groupware market. The aim of the paper is twofold. First, it outlines the evolution of RTC systems and offers a conceptualization of RTC consisting of usage scenarios and four main building blocks - integration of communication channels, presence information, context integration, and further collaboration features. Second, in order to understand the organizational implications of this complex and socially embedded information system, the paper intends to offer a starting point for future research on RTC by touching upon and systematizing different directions and typical questions for researching RTC and its organizational implications.

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