Workshops Saturday 08.06.2019

MC1 – CSCW research in small and medium enterprises

10.00 – 12.00

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often described as “the backbone of the European economy” (Annual report on European SMEs 2014/2015), counting about 22 million active SMEs in 2014 and employing almost 90 million people (ibidem). You can find a huge variety of branches and fields, including diverse examples such as IT start-ups, metalworking or ancillary industry. Many of the successful, longstanding SMEs have already experienced multiple socio-economic changes and phases of transformation like the “third industrial revolution” with an integration of automatization and information & communication technologies (ICT). Nowadays, many of the companies face challenges of the so called “industry 4.0” development and the correlated processes of digitalization that are especially interesting from a CSCW perspective: How do the involved actors in the companies deal with the challenges related to digitalization and technological transformation? How do the different stakeholders cooperate with each other on an intra-, inter- and external level (meaning within the respective SME, with their collaborative partners as well as external actors such as providers of infrastructure etc.)? In the masterclass, you will zoom into SMEs and learn about key concepts connected with the outlined issues above, but also discuss methodological approaches and how to engage stakeholders for cooperation when conducting research and design projects in this exciting, but also challenging practical field.

Organiser: Dr. Marén Schorch, University of Siegen (see bio below)

MC2 – Qualitative Methods in CSCW

14.00 – 17.00

Qualitative methods are widely used and established in CSCW research. The majority of those methods have their origins in sociology, social sciences and anthropology. Methods such as ethnography, qualitative interviews, different forms of participant observation, group meetings or design workshops and cultural probes are essential parts of many iterative research and design process in CSCW. In contrast to quantitative studies, the aim of qualitative empirical studies is not to test a theory or hypotheses, but to explore and meet the complexity of cooperative and collaborative practices. Doing qualitative research in CSCW is exciting, but also challenging, especially if such methods were not part of the academic curriculum.

This Masterclass aims at imparting knowledge about qualitative methods, explicitly about diverse options for data collection, preparation and data analysis. Besides basic information about the epistemological background (e. g. the Grounded Theory by Glaser/Strauss (1967) that is often misunderstood as a method of data analysis rather than a methodological paradigm), we will discuss a larger spectrum of possible methods and how to take one’s pick, depending on the respective research and design interest.

Organiser: Dr. Marén Schorch, University of Siegen

Organiser Bio

Marén Schorch is a PostDoc researcher and leader of the interdisciplinary junior research group “KontiKat” at the University of Siegen, Germany. She holds a PhD in Sociology and is specialized in a wide range of qualitative social methods, preferring ethnographic approaches. Using her long-term experience in interdisciplinary research projects and settings, she has been involved in multiple participatory design projects at the University of Siegen and with international partners. Her current research in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) deals with questions of continuity and (digital, social, economic) change in the context of digitalization, the construction of “safety” and its impact on cooperation and collaboration in small and medium sized companies. She is especially interested in the way how people deal with disorders or extreme events and how they maintain continuity with the help of socio-technical infrastructures. She has published a wide range of articles on her varied research, co-organized a number of CSCW-related workshops such as on ECSCW 2011, CSCW 2014 and CSCW 2017, COOP 2016 and GROUP 2016 and also regularly reviews for those conferences (ECSCW, CSCW, GROUP, CHI etc.).