Collaborative computing/Articulation work (of first and second order)

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Articulation work is work to make work work. Or to be exact, articulation work is cooperative work to make cooperative work work. (Schmidt 2002)

Articulation work is a kind of supra work. It's not the exact work of designing a system, building a building or producing a product. It's all the work around that cooperative work that makes it possible. In that sense it can be viewed as a secondary work process. That said it's a primary focus within CSCW.

Types of articulation work can be to: ...divide, allocate, coordinate, schedule, mesh, interrelate, etc.. With the focus of actors, responsibilities, tasks, activities, conceptual structures, common resources

Articulation work is often supported by artefacts, which is physical systems or programs produced by humans (fx podio). Artefacts can also be coordination artifacts that integrate and coordinate work.

Articulation work itself exists in first and second order.

First order articulation work is the planning and coordinating of who will be doing what, when, where and how etc, before the actual project (where cooperative work goes on) begins. Second order articulation work is handling missed responsilities, redelegation of unfinished jobs and all the necessary moves during the project that are necessary so that the project doesn't break down. So; first order articulation work goes before the project, second order articulation work goes on during the project.

In CSCW we especially focus on the second order articulation work, which is often the most difficult to identify and define.