Journal of Information Technology

Document Type

Research Article


The paper reviews the ways organizations are thought to be changing as a result of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). While claims which exaggerate the impact of technological changes should not be taken seriously, within the context of current developments in world capitalism CSCW assumes particular importance raising cultural and organizational problems at least as much as economic and technological ones. The flexibility, variety and disorder associated with ‘post-modern’ organizations (i.e. organizations characteristic of the epoch after modernism) necessitate the adoption of ‘postmodern’ approaches to understanding (i.e. approaches to the theory of knowledge developed in linguistics and philosophy) which emphasise the significance of communication, interpretation, improvization, negotiation and learning processes. The suggestion is that, for the impact of CSCW to be understood, conventional theories of organization should be replaced by theories of collective activity.