Conference on Organizational Computing Systems (COOCS `95)
Sponsored by ACM SIGOIS

Sheraton Silicon Valley, Milpitas, California
August 13-16, 1995


Where the Rubber Meets the Road:
Human Interaction Issues in Technology Supported Environments

K.C. Burgess Yakemovic, Group Performance Systems
Rebecca Stephens, STS Consulting Group
Al Selvin, NYNEX Technology R&D Group
Michael Harris, AT&T Global Information Systems

Several years ago there were few commercially available information systems specifically meant to support people working together in group settings. Today there are many, with more becoming available almost daily. However, both developers and users of this technology have pointed to people problem" as a significant barrier to achieving potential effectiveness and efficiency improvements. Improved effectiveness may be the goal of purchasers of such systems but it seems that the behavior of people sometimes gets in the way of performance. There are at least two major sources of human interaction problems: pre-existing conditions that the technology reveals, and problems created by the technlogy. This workshop will explore the human issues surrounding the use of technology for support groups and teams.

The goals will be to (1) identify the "people problems" (human to human interaction) experienced in the use of group support technology, (2) categorize, and if reasonable prioritize, these problems, (3) identify possible solutions or research actions, (4) provide a forum for interaction between designers (researchers) and users of technology to support group work, and (5) produce a report for the workshop attendees (and others, if appropriate).

The organizers of this workshop have participated in a dialog on this topic for over a year and facilitated a successful workshop in October 1994 at the ACM Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) conference.

Ms. Burgess Yakemovic has experience in both research and technology development and spent 16 years working with product development teams at NCR Corporation.

Rebecca Stephens' training and experience are in the human interaction side of group work. She has extensive consulting experience in team building, needs assessment, test construction and training for profit and non-profit organizations. She also teaches in the Psychology Department at Georgia State University.

Al Selvin is a technology transfer agent. He has used and promoted the use of technology for organizational improvement within NYNEX, and has been an active participant in both academic and commercial conferences on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware. His experience is as a user of commercially available tools which support organizations.

Michael Harris has over 25 years experience in the computer field, including work with networked simulation tools to support group training (SIMNET). He is currently a multimedia and cooperative systems specialist for AT&T Global Information Systems (formerly NCR Corp.). His interests include understanding the technology necessary to support group interaction at both the process and product levels.

We invite people with experience using or designing any type of group support technology to participate in a collaborative learning setting where there will be opportunities for both presentation and discussion. If you have questions regarding your potential for participation, please contact the workshop coordinator: K.C. Burgess Yakemovic (

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