NexGSD’s Pernille Bjørn is presenting a ToCHI paper on CHI’15 in Korea in April. The paper: ‘Does Distance Still Matter? Revisiting the CSCW Fundamentals on Distributed Collaboration’, revisits the Distance framework from 2000 and investigates whether the understanding of Common ground, Collaboration Readiness, Collaboration Technology Readiness, and Coupling of work is still the same after 15 years. The paper argues that, contrary to popular belief, closely-coupled work in a globally distributed setting motivates participants to spend the extra effort on articulation work, and thus is a viable organisational principle.
Does distance still matter? Reporting on a comparative analysis of four ethnographic studies of global software development, this article analyzes the fundamental aspects of distance as depicted in the famous paper “Distance Matters.” The results suggest that, although while common ground, collaboration readiness, and organizational management are still important aspects for distributed collaboration, the arguments concerning coupling of work and collaboration technology readiness need to be refined. We argue that in working remotely, closely coupled work tasks encourage remote workers to spend the extra effort required in articulation of work to make the collaboration function. Also we find that people in distributed software development have already made collaborative technologies part of their work, and individuals are comfortable with them; thus, collaboration technology readiness takes a different shape in this setting.