Coordination theory: A ten-year retrospective

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Human-Computer Interaction in Management Information Systems, M. E. Sharpe, Inc., p.120-138 (2006)




Since the initial publication in 1994, Coordination Theory has been referenced in nearly 300 journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and theses. Coordination Theory provides an approach to a core problem in HCI: analyzing group work to suggest alternative approaches involving computer support. Coordination Theory suggests identifying the dependencies between the tasks the different group members are carrying out and the coordination mechanisms the group use to coordinate their work and then considering alternative mechanisms. This chapter will analyze the contribution of this body of research to determine how Coordination Theory has been used for user task analysis and modelling for HCI. Issues that will be addressed include: 1)how the theory has been applied; 2) factors that led to the success of the theory; and 3)identification of areas needing further research.


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