Abstracts und Kommentare zur Literatur zum
“Ethnographische Methoden in der
Grundlagen der Ethnographie und methodische Einführung
- Michael Agar: The Professional Stranger: An Informal
Introduction to Ethnography. Academic Press, 1980 [SUB A 1981/1603]. Darin
insb. 4. Ethnography und 5. Beginning Fieldwork
Ein Klassiker, der eine gute Vorstellung davon vermittelt, was
Ethnographie und ethnographische Feldarbeit ausmacht. Dieses
Standardeinführungswerk für AnthropologInnen vermittelt und thematisiert
insbesondere das Selbstverständnis der EthnographInnen.
- Martyn Hammersley; Paul Atkinson: Ethnography:
Principles in Practice, 2. Aufl. 1995, 1. Aufl. Tavistock 1983 [SUB A
1984/8712], insb. Chapter 1 ‘What is Ethnography?’.
Umfassendes Lehrbuch, guter Überblick über wichtige Arbeiten im
- Pushkala Prasad: Systems of Meaning:
Ethnography as a Methodology for the Study of Information Technologies.
In: Lee; Liebenau; DeGross: Informations Systems and Qualitative Research,
Abstract: This paper explores the
implications of using ethnography as a methodology to study information
technologies. It outlines the principal distinguishing characteristics of
ethnographies by contrasting this methodology with other commonly used
qualitative field research. It traces the philosophic roots of ethnography in
symbolic anthropology and stresses the methodology's concern for thick
description, plausibility of accounts, the cultural context and the immersion
of the researcher. The paper also illustrates how the methodology can
contribute to our understanding of Information Systems by discussing a few
studies in this genre. It concludes by highlighting some recent dilemmas
facing researchers in the ethnographic tradition.
- Norman Denzin: Interpretive Ethnography:
Ethnographic Practices for the 21st Century. Sage, 1997 [SUB A
Vertiefte, auch wissenschaftstheoretische
Auseinandersetzung mit Ethnographie als sozialwissenschaftlicher Methodologie.
- Robert Burgess: In the Field: An
Introduction to Field Research, Allen & Unwin, 1984. Darin insb.
Methods of Field Research 2: Interviews as Conversations sowie
Ethical Problems, Ethical Principles and Field Research Practice.
Mehrfach empfohlene praktisch orientierte Einführung, nur
über Fernleihe erhältlich.
- Robert Burgess: Field Research: A
Sourcebook and Field Manual. Allen & Unwin, 1982 [Psych 610-211].
In Hamburg erhältliches früheres Werk.
- Rosalie Wax: Doing Fieldwork: Warnings and
Advice. Univ. of Chicaco Press, 1971.
empfohlenes Werk, u.a. zu ethischen Gesichtspunkten, nur über Fernleihe
- Oswald Werner: Systematic Fieldwork. Band 1:
Foundations of Ethnography and Interviewing. Band 2: Ethnographic Analysis and
Data Management. Sage, 1989 [SUB A 1991/11080:1/2]. Darin insb. Band 1, 7:
Observation, 8.-10. Interview, 13. Technology of Interviewing, Band 2
Epilogue: Minimum Standards for Ethnography
zusammenfassender Überblick über die gesamten Inhalte der zwei Bände.
- David Fetterman: Ethnography: Step by Step. Sage, 1989
[SUB A 1990/5964].
Kurzgefaßte methodische Einführung in
1. Overview 2. Anthropological Concepts
3. Methods and Techniques 4. Ethnographic Equipment 5. Analysis 6. Writing 7.
- Hans Fischer (Hrsg.): Ethnologie: Einführung und
Überblick. Reimer, 1992. Darin Was ist Ethnologie? und
U.a. zum Verhältnis dt. Ethnologie und
Reflexionen der Ethnographie
- Harold Garfinkel: Studies in
Ethnomethodology. 1967. Darin insb. What is Ethnomethodology?
Das klassische Werk über Ethnomethodologie, eine zur
Ethnographie passende Schule der Soziologie, von ihrem Begründer. Viele
ForscherInnen, die ethnographische Methoden im System Design betreiben, tun
dies mit dem analytischen Blickwinkel der Ethnomethodologie.
- Arne Raeithel: On the Ethnography of
Cooperative Work. In: Y. Engeström; D. absmiddleton (Eds.): Cognition at
Ethnographie aus dem Blickwinkel eines
Ethnographie und Design, insb. CSCW
Grundlagen und methodische Einführung
- Brigitte Jordan: Ethnographic Workplace Studies and
CSCW. In: Shapiro, D.; Tauber; Traunmüller (eds.): The Design of Computer
Supported Cooperative Work and Groupware Systems, Elsevier Science, 1996.
Systematische Darstellung von ethnographischen Methoden und
video-basierter Interaktionsanalyse und ihrem Einsatz im
- Jeanette Blomberg; Andrea
Mosher; Patricia Swenton-Wall: Ethnographic Field Methods and
Their Relation to Design. In Schuler, D.; Namioka, A.: Participatory
Design: Principles and Practice, 1993.
Grundprinzipien und Methoden der Ethnographie und ihr Verhältnis/Spannungsfeld
zum System Design. Gute Feldübungen im Anhang.
- Jeanette Blomberg: Ethnography: Aligning
field studies of work and system design. In A. F. Monk & G. N. Gilberg
(Eds.), Perspectives on HCI: Diverse Approaches. London: Academic Press,
Nach einer kurzen Beschreibung, was
Ethnographie auszeichnet, folgt eine Auseinandersetzung anhand bisheriger
Projekte, in denen Ethnographie in Verbindung mit System Design eingesetzt
wurde. Die Autorin unterteilt die Arbeiten in drei Richtungen: 1) studies of
work, 2) studies of particular technologies in use and 3)
participatory/work-oriented design. Eine ausführlichere
Auseinandersetzung erfolgt anhand des von Blomberg et al. durchgeführten
- Joseph Goguen; Charlotte Linde: Techniques for
Requirements Elicitation. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium
on Requirements Engineering, January 4-6, 1993, San Diego, California.
Abstract: This paper surveys and evaluates techniques for
eliciting requirements of computer-based systems, paying particular attention
to how they deal with social issues. The methods surveyed include
introspection, interviews, questionnaires, and protocol, conversation,
interaction, and discourse analyses. Although they are relatively untried in
Requirements Engineering, we believe there is much promise in the last three
techniques, which grew out of ethnomethodology and sociolinguistics. In
particular, they can elicit tacit knowledge by observing actual interactions
in the workplace, and can also be applied to the system development process
- John Ford; Larry Wood: An Overview
of Ethnography and System Design. In: Dennis Dixon; Judith Ramey (Eds.):
Field Methods Casebook for Software Design, John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
Executive summary: The purpose of this chapter is to
introduce and describe the field of ethnography to those who would like to use
ethnographic methods in system design. We will begin with a brief description
of ethnography and then progress to an explanation of why this approach is
well-suited to needs analysis for system design. We will then review several
common methods used in requirements analysis, and how their strenghts and
weaknesses are related to those of ethnographic methods. Finally, we will
trace the development of the use of ethnographic methods in system design and
speculate on the future of this trend.
- Larry Wood: The Ethnographic Interview in
User-Centered Work/Task Analysis. In: Dennis Dixon; Judith Ramey (Eds.):
Field Methods Casebook for Software Design, John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
Executive summary: An interviewing strategy for work/task
analysis of potential clients of software support applications is described
herein. It draws on methods from the disciplines of Ethnography and Cognitive
Science. The ultimate goal is to produce a descriptive model of current work
practice that can be used in user-centered design of a software application.
The interviewing strategy is characterized as a top-down approach where
semistructured interviews are used to develop a framework for guiding direct
observations of real work. Various types of questions are introduced that are
designed to be used by analysts in an oppottunistic fashion to suit the
particular analysis goals. It is recommended that the interviews focus
initially on the identification of work objects, their relationships, their
categories, and their discriminating features. That information can then be
used to develop task representations in which the relevant objects are used by
clients to accomplish their work. Suggestions are provided for describing and
documenting a work model.
- Kristin Bauersfeld; Shannon Halgren: “You’ve Got
Three Days!” Case Studies in the Field Techniques for the Time-Challenged.
In: Dennis Dixon; Judith Ramey (Eds.): Field Methods Casebook for Software
Design, John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
Recently, the Interface Design Group at Claris has had the opportunity to
conduct field studies to help define the direction of new products. This
opportunity has come at the price of short time frames in which to conduct,
interpret, and apply the results. Many of the traditional field study
techniques do not lend themselves to these time constraints. Therefore, we
have developed three field study techniques (adopted from traditional methods)
that work within our time schedule. These techniques [condensed ethnographic
interview, passive video observation, interactive feature conceptualization]
are described, then discussed in the context in which they were
- Mary Beth Butler; Marie Tahir:
Bringing the Users’ Work to Us: Usability Roundtables of Lotus
Development. In: Dennis Dixon; Judith Ramey (Eds.): Field Methods Casebook
for Software Design, John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
summary: This chapter explains usability roundtables, one method we use to
help us better understand our users' work. During usability roundtables, we
attempt to recreate a portion of the users' environment by having them bring
samples of their work to our offices. Users sit with product team members
around a conference table and use these samples (usually data files, sample
applications , or hard copy printouts) to explain their work. By explaining
the sample data files and printed output that they bring with them, the users
can give a product team a good introduction to the major issues they face in
their jobs, and how technology helps or hinders them in their work.
Seeing the work that users do ensures that our designs meet
their needs. Our initial attemps to visit users in their workplaces were
time-consuming and not as productive as we hoped. Usability Roundtables have
provided us with an effective alternative for learning more about our users'
Beiträge zur Debatte (auch Fallstudien)
- Paul Luff; Marina Jirotka;
Christian Heath; David Greatbatch: Tasks and Social
Interaction: the Relevance of Naturalistic Analyses of Conduct for
Requirements Engineering. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International
Symposium on Requirements Engineering, January 4-6, 1993, San Diego,
Abstract: The definition of the tasks,
activities or functions that a system will be required to perform is an
essential component of any requirements exercise. Hence, methods for
requirements elicitation have emphasized techniques for their elicitation and
representation. However, the conception of tasks embodied in these methods is
often vague or left implicit and generally characterized in individualistic
terms. In this paper we draw from empirical materials to reveal the social and
collaborative nature of task that is also overlooked in more recent
developments such as participative design or in attemps to elicit multiple
viewpoints of an activity. Exploring the socio-interactional nature of
activities leads to some radical implications for the technological design. An
approach that utilizes ethnographic studies of real-world setings with
detailed analysis of interactions of the participants may have an inportant
contribution to the development of requirements methods.
- Paul Luff; Christian Heath;
David Greatbatch: Work, Interaction and Technology: The Naturalistic
Analysis of Human Conduct and Requirements Analysis. In: Marina Jirotka;
Joseph Goguen: Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues. Academic
Aus der Einführung: In this chapter, we wish to
explore the ways in which developments in social science, namely
ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, may provide a distinctive approach
to requirements analysis and design. We wish to suggest that despite recent
innovations and advances, many of the methods and techniques used within
requirements analysis rely upon a relatively individualistic conception of
tasks and activities that severely delimits the domain of the ‘social’. Taking
three different organisational settings, we begin to sketch the ways in which
the detailed, naturalistic analysis of video-recordings of (real world) work
and interaction may generate requirements for technological support and
innovation and lead to a thoroughgoing reconsideration of our traditional
conceptions of taks and cooperation. In particular, by directing analytic
attention to the moment-by-moment production of (technologically mediated)
organisational conduct, we can begin to explore the tacit, socio-interactional
foundations of in situ human conduct in the workplace, and delineate
requirements for technological innovation.
- Marina Jirotka; Joseph Goguen:
Introduction. In: Marina Jirotka; Joseph Goguen: Requirements
Engineering: Social and Technical Issues. Academic Press, 1994.
Auszug: This book focusses on the relationship between social and
technical issues in Requirements Engineering. It aims to present a number of
representative positions on this issue, ranging from classical approaches to
those that are more recent. The various authos view the relationship between
the social and technical in widely different ways, ranging from the view that
they are completely separated, to the view that they are inseparable. This
diversity can be seen as a healthy reflection of lively ongoing debate about
what requirements actually are, and how requirements engineers should go about
Abschnitte: 1. Classical methods
(u.a. SA) 2. Managing the development process (u.a. SSM) 3. Socio-technical
approaches (u.a. ETHICS) 4. Entwining the social and the technical
(ethnography) 5. Video-based analysis 6. The structure of this book 7. Towards
- Joseph Goguen: Requirements Engineering as
the Reconciliation of Social and Technical Issues. In: Marina Jirotka;
Joseph Goguen: Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues. Academic
Aus der Einleitung: Much of the information
that requirements engineers need is embedded in the social worlds of users and
managers, and is extracted through interactions with these people, e.g.
through interviews and questionnaires. At its source, this information tends
to be informal and highly dependent on its social context for interpretation.
On the other hand, many representations that appear in constrcting and using
computer-based systems are formal, in that they are defined by the formal
syntactic and semantic rules of computers and computer languages, so that
their interpretation is relatively independent of social context. We suggest
that both the formal, context insensitive, and the informa, socially situated
aspects of information are crucial to the success of requirements engineering
projects. Elsewhere, we have called these two aspects ‘the dry’ and ‘the wet’,
respectively (Goguen 1992b). Here, we suggest that requirements engineering
has a strong practical need to reconcile them, and that this kind of
reconciliation may be the very essence of requirements engineeering. To this
end, we suggest a new notion, the ‘situated abstract data type’, which joins
the formal and informal aspects of information.
- Steve Woolgar: Rethinking Requirements
Analysis: Some Implications of Recent Research into Producer-Consumer
Relationships in IT Development. In: Marina Jirotka; Joseph Goguen:
Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues. Academic Press, 1994.
Aus der Einführung: In recent years, a number of social
scientists have carried out ethnographic studies of development in various
aspects of information technology (IT). A central rationale for this work is
to provide a picture of the actual processes of development, by contrast with
the partial and idealised depictions which often appear in textbooks or in
participants’ retrospective reconstructions. The strategic importance of the
‘ethnographic’ perspective is explained below. Thus far, this line of work has
loked in particular at case studies in hardware development, software system
development and information system implementation.
This chapter describes some aspects of these ethnographic studies of
IT development, drawing in particular on a case study of the development of
microcomputers (Woolgar, 1991). The main aim is to demonstrate some important
implications of ethnographic research for requirements analysis. To do this,
however, we first need to consider the general nature of problems encountered
in requirements analysis. In particular, we first need to look care fully at
typical responses to the recurrent problems of requirements analysis. Why do
the same kind of problems seem to turn up again and again? The chapter then
outlines two key concepts which can assist our rethinking of problems in
requirements analysis: the idea of system as text, and the notion of
configuring the user. These concepts are then illustrated with reference to
experiences deriving from a recent ethnography of computers.
- Geoff Cooper; Christine
Hine; Janet Rachel; Steve Woolgar: Ethnography and
Human-Computer Interaction. In: Peter Thomas: The Social and Interactional
Dimensions of Human-Computer Interfaces. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995.
Introduction: Recent years have seen the recognition of the
potential of a range of sociological research for work in the design,
implementation, and use of computer technologies. In general, this latter work
has been undertaken under disciplinary auspices other than sociology, ones
predominantly informed by psychology and component disciplines within
cognitive science. One consequence is that there is as yet no very clear view
of the different sociological approaches on offer ? ethnography,
ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, interaction analysis; nor is it clear
exactly how such approaches can be of use in the variety of domains which have
shown interest ? for example, human-computer interaction (HCI), requirements
analysis, and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). The specific aim of
this chapter is to examine the potential contribution of ethnography to
Ethnography is commonly regarded as a
“absmiddle-up” alternative perspective that - by contrast with, for example,
laboratory based methods - can do justice to the richness of action and
interaction in actual settings. While subscribing to these empirical
commitments their value, we see the key import of ethnographic study in
different terms. Accordingly, this chapter seeks to set out the actual and
potential significance of a version of ethnography that has been developed
from the tradition of laboratory studies (Knorr-Cetina, 1981; Latour and
Woolgar, 1986; Lynch, 1985; Traweek, 1988) in the sociology of scientific
knowledge (SSK). We argue that, both in methodological and substantive terms,
this approach has much to offer HCI. We emphasize that the significance of
this version of ethnography is primarily epistemological. This means that it
is more than just a different way of gathering data, or a way of gathering
different data. Instead it is a distinctive conceptual approach in which the
relation between research and object of study is radically
We begin by setting out some key
features of this approach, and delineating it from some received views of
ethnographic work within HCI. We then present four brief descriptions ? tales
from the field ? taken from recent ethnographic studies of technological
settings, in order to illustrate the approach. We aim to show how these
studies, conceived within an ostensibly different set of interests to those of
HCI as it is commonly defined, offer new dimensions to current thinking about
human-computer interaction. Finally we discuss the significance of ethnography
for HCI, and suggest that it promises a valuable reformulation of both the
methodology and object of study of HCI.
- James Nyce; Jonas Löwgren:
Toward Foundational Analysis in Human-Computer Interaction. In: Peter
Thomas: The Social and Interactional Dimensions of Human-Computer Interfaces.
Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995.
Auszug aus Thomas’ allg. Einf.:
Nyce and Löwgren’s chapter tackles the same concerns [as Cooper et al.],
suggesting why the relegation of ethnography to method or technique might have
come about, and suggesting how ethnography might be revitalized in HCI. Their
historical sketch of the roots of HCI shows the move (...) toward forms of
“contextual inquiry”, characterized by approaches to design that are intended
to reflect both the user’s and the developer’s understanding of the contexts
in which the systems are used. As part of this move, the use of ethnography
has come to miss what they term “foundational analysis”. This they attribute
to ethnography’s attempt to find a niche within the traditional concerns of
HCI ? which they see as opposed to a view of user-system interaction as
contingent, situated, informed by context and seldom rule-bound ? and its
resulting “rewriting” into a directly applicable method.
- L. Davies; M. Myers: Scholarship
and Practice: The Contribution of Ethnographic Research Methods to Bridging
the Gap. In: Glasson et al. (eds.): Business Process Re-Engineering:
Information Systems Opportunities and Challenges. Elsevier Science, 1994.
Abstract: Information systems research techniques need to
contribute to the scholarly requirements of the field of knowledge but also
need to develop the potential to contribute to the practical requirements of
practitioners’ knowlede. This leads to possible conflicts in choosing research
methods. This paper argues that the changing world of the IS practitioner is
reflected in the changing world of the IS researcher and that qualitative
approaches to IS research help to bridge the gap between the two domains of
knowledge. To illustrate how this gap may be bridged, the ethnographic
research method is expanded upon. The paper concludes by assessing the
contributions and limitations of this method to IS research and
- Dave Randall; John Hughes;
Dan Shapiro: Steps Toward a Partnership: Ethnography and System
Design. In: Marina Jirotka; Joseph Goguen: Requirements Engineering:
Social and Technical Issues. Academic Press, 1994.
Einführung: This chapter represents an initial effort to evaluate the
contribution of ethnography to system design on the basis of one research
project in which the method has been explicitly used to describe, and in
detail, the work activities of air traffic controllers by automated systems.
In other words, it represents an attempt to bring an ethnographic study of
work to bear on system design.
- Ian Sommerville; Richard
Bentley; Tom Rodden; Peter Sawyer: Cooperative Systems
Design. In: The Computer Journal, Vol. 37, No. 5, 1994.
Abstract: This paper discusses an innovative experiment where
sociologists were actively involved in the requirements analysis for an
interactive software system to support the work of air traffic controllers.
Air traffic control is intrinsically cooperative and our work involved an
analysis of that process from a social perspective and the development of a
prototype user interface for air traffic controllers’ interaction with a
flight information system.
As part of the analysis
process, sociologists were involved in ethnographic studies of work and
discovered subtle and complex patterns of cooperation which, we suspect, would
not have been discovered using structured methods for requirements analysis.
From a software development perspective, we describe how the input from the
sociologists was essential for understanding the real automation requirements,
discuss the difficulties of inter-disciplinary cooperative working and suggest
how social analysis can be integrated in the interactive systems design
- Ian Sommerville; Tom Rodden;
Peter Sawyer; Richard Bentley: Sociologists can be
Surprisingly Useful in Interactive Systems Design. In: Proc. HCI'92, 1992.
This paper makes a case, to system developers, for
inter-disciplinary working and the involvement of sociologists in the systems
design process. Our argument is based on the fact that effective systems must
take account of the social context in which these systems are situated. The
paper is based on our experiences of working with sociologists in a study of
air traffic control automation. We describe the model of working which we use
and which we believe allows effective utilisation of the skills of both
disciplines. We then set out pre-cursors for effective inter-disciplinary
collaboration and how people from radically different backgrounds can work in
harmony. Finally, we discuss some of the problems of collaboration which are
likely to arise.
- John Hughes; David Randall; Dan Shapiro: From
Ethnographic Record to System Design: Some Experiences from the Field. In:
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1993.
Abstract: This paper explores the issues involved in moving from
ethnographic explorations of work in context to a practical contribution to
system design. It does so using the example of an interdisciplinary research
project involving sociologists and computer scientists in the domain of air
traffic control systems. It forms a pair with another paper (Sommerville
et al., 1992) exploring these questions from the perspective of our
computer science partners. We characterize ethnography as a research method,
and consider the differences between undertaking it for strictly sociological
or anthropological purposes by contrast with interdisciplinary and design
purposes. We summarise some of our results in ethnographic explications of the
work of air traffic controllers, and the sociality which it manifests. We
describe the dialogues involved in rendering these observations ‘informative’
for systems design, and the mutual translations implied in attempting to
reconcile sociological with software engineering questions about supporting
the work. We conclude sociological by specifying some features of cooperative
work which an engineering approach is in danger of overlooking: the ways, and
limits, in which ethnographers can form a ‘bridge’ between users and
designers; and some of the conflicts of interest entrained in generating
- John Hughes: Ethnography, Plans and Software
Engineering. IEEE Colloquium on CSCW, 1995.
this paper I want to report on some continuing research being done as part of
a number of projects involving collaboration between software engineers and
sociologists within the Center for CSCW Research at Lancaster. The strategy
which has evolved over these projects, and they have included studies of air
traffic controllers, software engineers, technicians, office workers, bank
employees, among others, is to conduct ethnographic field studies, of varying
durations, in order to inform system design issues. What I propose to do in
this paper is, first of all briefly reiterate the case for ethnography in CSCW
design; secondly, using studies of software engineering, relate the approach
to trying to understand process-models-in-use within software engineering
- Dan Shapiro: The Limits of Ethnography:
Combining Social Sciences for CSCW. ACM, 1994.
The paper addresses some of the divergences between social sciences, and
proposes the development of hybrid forms of participation in CSCW. It offers a
critique of the theoretical isolationism of some ethnomethodological
ethnography. It reviews the prospects for interdisciplinary collaboration, and
seeks to motivate it with some ‘core propositions’ which are ‘owned’ by
different disciplines. It illustrates ‘hybrid forms’ with discussion of some
issues in two areas: the cognitive versus the ethnographic, and the politics
- Lydia Plowman; Yvonne Rogers; Magnus Ramage:
What Are Workplace Studies For? In: ECSCW ’95, Marmolin; Sundblad;
Schmidt (eds.): Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 1995.
Abstract: We have
considered the role of workplace studies from the CSCW literature which are
intended to inform system design and implementation. We present a critique of
these studies, categorized according to which phase of the design process they
most inform, and discuss the tensions between providing explanatory accounts
and usable design recommendations, the pressures on fieldworkers to provide
both, the purposes different approaches serve, and the transition from
fieldwork to system design.
- Jesper Simonsen; Finn Kensing: Using Ethnography in
Contextual Design. Communications of the ACM, July 1997.
Anhand einer Fallstudie in einem zweistufigen Projekt wird der Einfluß
der Verwendung von ethnographischen Methoden auf die Systemgestaltung gut
erkennbar. Diskutiert werden auch die organisationalen Aspekte der
Systemgestaltung sowie die Bedingungen für den Einsatz ethnographischer
Methoden. Zur Lektüre stark empfohlen.
- Robert Anderson:
Representations and Requirements: The Value of Ethnography in System
Design. In: Human-Computer Interaction 9,2:151-182, 1994.
Abstract: For a number of reasons, systems designers have recently
shown considerable interest in ethnography. For the most part, this has been
used as a method for the specification of end-user requirements for systems.
In this article, I argue that most of this interest is predicated in a
misunderstanding of ethnography’s role in social science. Instead of focusing
on its analytic aspects, designers have defined it as a form of data
collection. They have done this for very good, design-relevant reasons, but
designers do not need ethnography to do what they wish to do. In the central
part of this article, I introduce and illustrate an approach to analytic
ethnography in human-computer interaction. In the latter sections I take this
approach and show how it opens up the play of possibilities for design. These
possibilities are illustrated by counterpoising a summary logic of
organizational structure such as that associated with the calculus of
efficiency and productivity with the local logics of daily organizational
- Kari Kuutti; Helena Karasti:
Ethnographers and System Developers: Handing Over the Results or Joining
Forces? Working Paper, COMIC-Oulu-2-10, 1996.
The paper continues the discussion about the role of ethnography in system
design from the viewpoint of system designers. It suggests that
ethnographically-inspired methods can be useful in system design also when
used by system designers, but that system designers might also contribute
something in deeper ethnographical analysis because of their firm connection
to the material world and technology. The suggestions are illustrated by an
example from a fieldwork done in studying radiological conferences. Finally,
the paper suggests that ethnography might help in developing rich categories
and concepts to describe future work practices.
- Lancaster University; Manchester
University: Field Studies and CSCW. COMIC D2.2, 1994. Darin insb.
Section 2: The Role of Ethnographic Fieldwork Methods in CSCW.
Abstract: In this section we intend a retrospective look at
our own experience of using ethnography in a series of research studies, and
suggest some roles which ethnography can play as a contributor to CSCW system
design. Though we are strong aficionados of the method we do not regard it as
a panadea for the problems of system design which are complex and “wicked”
(Rittel and Webber, 1973). In other words, if ethnography is to take a more
regarded place in CSCW design, then it is important to appraise not only its
virtues but also its vices. Here we identify four uses of ethnography in
various phases of the design cycle as a contribution to an evaluation of the
We also briefly examine the arguments which
have motivated the introduction of ethnography into systems design. We then
reflect on our particular experiences in the use of ethnography across a
number of projects and present some more general implications arising from
- Jakob Bardram: The Role of Workplace Studies
in Design of CSCW Systems: From Passive ‘Implicationsfor Design’ to
Active, Cooperative Design. In: Proceedings of IRIS 19, 1996.
Abstract: This paper discusses the value of detailed workplace studies
within design of computer support for cooperative work. Experiences obtained
during an ongoing research project in cooperation with a large Danish software
company is discussed. The project aims at developing computer support for
cooperative work at hospitals. The paper argues that the greatest value of
detailed workplace studies in design of computer systems consists in actively
using them as input for further cooperative design. This is in contrast to the
traditional use of such studies, where they merely are passive ‘requirements’
or ‘implications for design’ considerations.
- Robert Anderson: Work,
Ethnography, and System Design. Rank-Xerox Research Center, 1996
und Link zum PS-Dokument
- Graham Button; Richard Harper:
The Relevance of ‘Work Practice’ for Design. In Computer-Supported
Cooperative Work, Vol.4: 263-280, 1996.
are increasingly being urged to take account of the situated and contingent
organisation of the work that their systems are to support or automate. Within
CSCW the concept of work-practice is a much used token for the organisation of
work. This paper develops the debte about the position of work-practice in
design by recognizing that it is an ambiguous concept in sociology that is
used to refer to different orders to work organisation. It is argued that as
such it is as likely to mask the situated and contingent organisation of work
as it is to make it visible. In order to fully realise the radicalisation of
design portended by the deployment of the concept of work-practice and in
order to make visible the in situ organisation of work it is argued
that full and due weight has to be placed upon grounding the concept in
analytic explications of the interactional ordering of work. This stands in
contrast to grounding work-practice in the formalisms of work emanating from
theoretical debates about work in a capitalist economic/social structure;
documentations of work; the narratives of workers, managers, and purchasers;
dialogs with users, and mere observations of work. Two studies are invoked to
substantiate this argument, one involving a sales ordering and invoicing
system, the other a crime reporting system.
- Graham Button; Paul Dourish:
Technomethodology: Paradoxes and Possibilities. Rank-Xerox Research
und Link zum PS-Dokument
- Christopher Westrup: Discovering the Organisation:
Ethnography and Videoing for Requirements Analysis. In: Accounting,
Management, and Information Systems, May 1997.
- Judith Ramey; Alan Rowberg;
Carol Robinson: Adaption of an Ethnographic Method for Investigation
of the Task Domain in Diagnostic Radiology. In: Dennis Dixon; Judith Ramey
(Eds.): Field Methods Casebook for Software Design, John Wiley & Sons,
Executive Summary: A number of user-centered methods
for designing radiology workstations have been described by researchers at
Carleton University (Ottawa), Georgetown University, George Washington
University, and University of Arizona, among others. The approach described
here differs in that it enriches standard human-factors practices with methods
adapted from Ethnography to study users (in this case, diagnostic
radiologists) as members of a distinct culture. The overall approach combines
several methods; the core method, based on ethnographic "stream of behavior
chronicles" and their analysis, has four phases: (1) first, we gather the
stream of behavior by videotaping a radiologist as he or she works; (2) we
view the tape ourselves and formulate questions and hypotheses about the work,
and then (3) in a second videotaped session, we show the radiologist the
original tape and ask for a running commentary on the work, into which (at the
appropriate points) we interject our questions for clarification. We then (4)
categorize and index the behavior on the "raw data" tapes for various kinds of
follow-on analysis. We describe and illustrate this method in detail, describe
how we analyze the "raw data" videotapes and the commentary tapes, and explain
how the method can be integrated into an overall user-centered design process
based on standard human-factors techniques.
- Jeanette Blomberg; Lucy Suchman; Randy Trigg:
Reflections on a Work-Oriented Design Project. In Human Computer
Abstract: This article reports our
experiences in developing a work-oriented design practice. We sketch our
general approach to relating work practice studies and design, including our
use of case-based prototypes. We go on to describe our entry into the law firm
that was the setting for this project and our decision to focus our design
efforts on two forms of work at the firm. We discuss our experiences in
developing a case-based prototype to support the work of document search and
retrieval. We then describe our encounters with organizational politics at the
firm in the context of a joint exploration of image analysis technologies in
relation to the work of litigation support. We conclude with findings on the
practices of working with document collections, the value of case-based
prototypes, and recommendations for combining work practice studies and design
- Steve Blythin; Mark
Rouncefield; John Hughes: “NeverMind the Ethno Stuff ? What
Does All This Mean and What Do We Do Now?” Ethnography in the Commercial
World. In: Interactions, ACM, May/June 1997.
This article reports on a research project in which ethnography was used to
inform changes in management practices within a large retail bank.
The research project was part of the Department of Trade and
Industry/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Center Initiative on CSCW
carried out by a consortium of NatWest Bank, the Centre for Research in
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work at Lancaster University, and Syncho Ltd.,
a management consulting firm. As project manager, Steve Blythin's role was to
present the output of the research for his superiors at the bank. Indeed, it
was at Blythin’s first debriefing that a senior executive uttered the words
used in the title of this article. It was a refrain subsequently echoed both
within the bank and from other industrialists. The ethnographers, who have a
research background, tended to believe that their role was to analyze the work
setting and that the role of the organization was to respond however it chose.
It was no part of the field workers’ brief to become too closely involved with
the real world of organizational change. However, with sympathetic but firm
pressure from Blythin, the ethnographers began to contribute much more to the
process of organizational change.
What follows is an
illustrative case study of the enhanced role of ethnography in informing real
world organizational change.
- Yvonne Rogers; Victoria Bellotti:
Grounding Blue-Sky Research: How Can Ethnography Help? In:
Interactions, ACM, May/June 1997.
Abstract: Ethnography is
being used not just as a research tool, but as a method to inform the design
of technological systems. To list just three examples: Bentley et al. [s.a. Sommerville
et al.] showed how the design of an air traffic control system interface
was informed by a detailed ethnography of the controllers’ cooperative work
practice; Sachs described how ethnography and other methods were used to
evaluate and redesign a scheduling and work routing system; Lewis
et al. reported on how ethnographic techniques were adapted to derive a
design-centric work-domain description for a video editing support
Ethnography has in fact begun to be used
quite frequently with the goal of incrementally improving the conditions of a
particular work setting by highlighting important aspects of existing work
practices, for example, studies of air traffic control, trading room, design
companies, and engineering have all pointed out the instrumental role played
by different representations and various kinds of social actions and
interactions in coordinating work. Blythin
et al. describe how a “quick-and-dirty” ethnography was used to provide a
baseline for recommending changes in the patterns of working in a large retail
bank that was reorganizing and investing heavily in information technology.
Analysts argue that applying (and adapting) ethnographic techniques supports
focused inquiry into how better to support particular work practices with
improvements in work procedures and technology.
- Scott Lewis; Michael
Mateas; Susan Palmiter; Gene Lynch: Ethnographic Data
for Product Development: A Collaborative Process. In: Interactions, ACM,
Abstract: As user-interface specialists, the
authors have developed a process for using ethnographic data to drive design
in a product development environment. This process involves three main steps:
collecting observational data, analyzing the data to produce a model useful
for design, and successfully communicating the results of this analysis to all
project team members: researchers, engineers, marketers, and management. For
each of these three steps, we detail our approach and experiences with the
process, discuss the artifacts and models that we produced, and present the
- John Bowers: Making It Work: A Field Study of
a “CSCW Framework”. In: The Information Society, Vol. 11, pp 189-207,
Abstract: This article presents a field study of the
procurement, implementation, and use of a local area network devoted to
running computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) related applications in a
U.K. central government organization. In this particular case, the network ran
into a number of difficulties, was resisted by its potential users for a
variety of reasons, was faced with being withdrawn from service on a number of
occasions, and remains only partly used. The study points to the kinds of
problems that a project to introduce computer support for cooperative work to
an actual organization is likely to face, and a series of concepts is offered
to help manage the complexity of these problems. In so doing, this article
adds to and extends previous studies of CSCW tools in action but also argues
that experience from the field should be used to reorganize the research
agenda of CSCW.
- Mark Rouncefield; Stephen
Viller; John Hughes; Tom Rodden: Working with
“Constant Interruption”: CSCW and the Small Office. In: The Information
Society, Vol. 11, pp 173-188, 1995.
studies of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) have often seemed to
involve the investigation of relatively large-scale and highly specific
systems, consequently ignoring the small office within which many people spend
much of their working lives and which is a major site for the introduction and
implementation of information technology (IT). This article is concerned with
a “quick and dirty” ethnographic study of a small office that was considering
the introduction of greater levels of IT. The process of work in a small
office and its recurrent features - notably the massive volume of paperwork,
the importance of local knowledge in the accomplishment of work, and the
phenomenon of “constant interruption” - are outlined as generic features of
office work. This article suggests that despite the obvious contrasts with
work settings analyzed in other ethnographic studies, similar features of
cooperative work can be observed in the small office, and the issues of
cooperation and the sociality of work cannot be forgotten even in small-scale
- Monika Büscher; Satinder
Gill; Preben Mogensen; Dan Shapiro: Landscapes of
Practice. Lancaster University, 1996.
paper reports on the early stages of a project with four main objectives.
First, to achieve a more thorough admixture of systems design with the
analysis of the social organization of work. Second, to explore the mutual
contribution of ethnographic and participatory approaches to design. Third, to
support CSCW ‘in practice’, deploying modest and readily-available technology
in a real working context. Fourth, to explore some of the characteristics of
‘aesthetic production’ as a substantive domain. It describes some
organizational and technical changes developed within a practice of landscape
architects a context of ‘situated experimentation’. It maps some of the
complex relations between technical change and local and distributed
Ansätze im System Design mit Fokus auf Arbeitsplatz-Studien
- Finn Kensing; Jesper Simonsen; Keld Bødker:
MUST : A Method for Participatory Design. In Blomberg; Kensing;
Dykstra-Erickson (Eds.): PDC ’96 Proceedings of the Participatory Design
Conference, Cambridge, MA, 13-15 November 1996.
The paper presents a conceptual framework and a coherent method for design in
an organizational context within the PD tradition. The MUST method has been
developed throughout 10 projects in Danish and American organizations, and it
has recently been evaluated, and adopted by IT professionals within a large
Danish organization. The method is based on thorough participation with users
and managers, and it combines the use of ethnographic techniques and
intervention. The paper describes the application area and perspective of the
MUST method, presents six general principles on which the method is based, and
describes five main activities providing a stepwise decision making process in
relation to the overall design process. The paper concludes with a brief
comparison of the MUST method with other approaches and by summing up the main
- Anita Krabbel; Ingrid
Wetzel; Heinz Züllighoven: On the Inevitable Intertwining of
Analysis and Design: Developing Systems for Complex Cooperations. DIS ’97.
Design of Interactive Systems, 1997.
interactive software systems requires the well known tasks of analysis, design
and construction. In the context of work settings with complex cooperations
these tasks and their relationship undergo drastic changes. Analysis and
design have to be accomplished at different levels of complexity, the
heterogeneity of users involved needs to be handled and the presentation of
anticipated changes incorporating the organizational context goes beyond
proven (object-oriented) techniques like prototyping.
The article claims that complex cooperations require a close
intertwining of analysis and design. It is accomplishable by
application-oriented documents usable in different stages of the development
process. Based on a document-driven evolutionary approach examples of such
document types like Cooperation Pictures and Purpose Tables are given.
They are discussed based on experiences from projects in different application
Ethnographie und Video-Einsatz
Peter v. Savigny
22. 10. 97
Video-Einsatz im System Design
- Austin Henderson: Video and Design.
SIGCHI Bulletin Special Issue on Video as a Research and Design Tool, Vol. 21,
No. 2, pp 104-107, 1989.
Früher Überblicksartikel über die
verschiedenen denkbaren Verbindungen von Video und System Design.
- Lucy Suchman; Randall Trigg: Understanding Practice:
Video as a Medium for Reflection and Design, In: Greenbaum; Kyng: Design
at Work: Cooperative Design of Computer Systems, 1991.
tell us about a project which uses videotapes to help researchers reflect on
work practices. Lucy Suchman, an anthropologist, and Randall Trigg, a computer
scientist, give us suggestions for how interaction analysis in general, and
videotaping in particular, can be used in developing an understanding of the
situated use of artifacts. They also discuss how their techniques may be
developed and applied in a participatory approach to design.
- Patricia Wall; Andrea Mosher:
Representations of Work: Bringing Designers and Users Together, In: R.
Trigg, S. Irwin Anderson and E. Dykstra-Erickson (eds.): PDC’94: Proceedings
of the Participatory Design Conference, 1994.
the past several yearls, we have been engaged in work practice and codesign
projects with users of office systems products. In order to share and make
explicit out understanding of user work practices with a wide base of
technology developers, much of our emphasis has bee on developing ways to
describe the rich and complex world of user work practices. This paper
describes a variety of approaches that we are using to represent usr work
practices in order to inform the development of emerging technologies so that
they more closely align with the needs and work practices of users of the
- Francoise Brun-Cottan; Patricia Wall: Using Video to
Re-Present the User, Communications of the ACM, May 1995.
Inspirierender Artikel der im Videoeinsatz weltweit führenden
Xerox-Rochester ForscherInnen über die Einsatzmöglichkeiten von Video im
- Francoise Brun-Cottan et al : The
Workplace Project: Designing for Diversity and Change. Video, Xerox PARC
Video Production, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, 1991.
Der Bericht von einem großen Projekt an einem Flughafen als
editiertes und kommentiertes Video. Wir werden es in Verbindung mit dem Artikel
von Suchman und Trigg ansehen und diskutieren.
- Francoise Brun-Cottan: Video Assisted
Ethnography: Using Video to Reveal Features of the Construction and
Display of Cooperation in Work Settings, draft for an article, presented
at the 13th Qualitative Analysis Conference. McMaster University, Hamilton,
Canada, May 28-31, 1996.
Abstract: A starting premise of
this talk is that collaboration is central to human sociability. It is also of
recurrent interest to social scientists interested in the dynamic interplay of
human interaction, technology and organizations. Detailed analysis of video
recordings of everyday work practices can provide unique insights about how
people accomplish cooperation.
In this talk, video
examples drawn from studies of two different work sites, an airline operations
room and a large industrial manufacturer, will be presented. The moment by
moment construction of collaboration will be examined and discussed.
- Helena Karasti: Using Video to Join Analysis of Work
Practice and Design. A Study of an Experimental Teleradiology System and its
Redesign. IRIS 20, 1997. [HTML-Dokument]
Einsatzmöglichkeiten von Video werden an einem konkreten
Projekt aufgezeigt und kompetent diskutiert.
- Helena Karasti: Bridging the
Analysis of Work Practice and System Redesign in Cooperative Workshops.
DIS ’97, Design of Interactive Systems, 1997.
paper addresses the issue of bridging analysis of work practice and systems
design. It describes a case study of organising cooperative workshops in
connection to an experimental teleradiology project. The main idea of the
workshops was to join situated views from practice, analysis of work practice,
evaluation of system-in-use and system redesign. Key issues in relation to the
concept of work practice are highlighted and elaborated.
- Randy Trigg; Susanne Bødker;
Kai Grønbæk: Open-Ended Interaction in Cooperative Prototyping: A
Video-Based Analysis, Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 3,
pp. 63-86, 1991.
Abstract: Cooperative Prototyping can be
characterized as the use and development of prototypes as catalysts during
discussions between designers and potential users ? the overall intention
being one of mutual learning. On the one hand, the designers learn more about
the work practices of the users in ways that are tied concretely to some
current version of the prototype. On the other hand, the users learn more
about the potential for change in their work practice, whether computer-based
or otherwise. This paper presents the results of a field study of the
cooperative prototyping process. The study is based on a fine-grained
video-based analysis of a single prototyping session, and focuses on the
effects of an open-ended style of interaction between users and
designers around a prototype. An analysis of focus shifts, initiative and
storytelling during the session is brought to bear on the question of whether
and how cooperative prototyping can be successful with users who are reluctant
to "play in the future". The paper also discusses issues in applying video
analysis to system design.
- Melissa Cefkin; Brigitte Jordan:
Video-based Interaction Analysis in the Workplace: A Tool for Workers'
Appropriation of Their Own Practice. In: R. Trigg, S. Irwin Anderson and
E. Dykstra-Erickson (eds.): PDC’94: Proceedings of the Participatory Design
Abstract: In 1992 we initiated a project
at the Xerox Customer Administration Center (CAC) in Dallas during which we
started up an Interaction Analysis Lab or IAL (a process for the collaborative
analysis of video recordings of work practices) in the workplaces we were
studying. With our guidance and facilitation, workers, trainers, and
first-line managers participated in the analysis of video tapes. They found
these sessions useful and empowering.
is intended to build on our experience by showing and discussing examples from
our work and adapting the ideas and techniques we have developed to the
projects and interests of workshop participants.
- Lucy Suchman: Making Work Visible. In: Communications
of the ACM, September 1995.
Eine mehrstimmige Reflektion
über die politischen Aspekte und Seiteneffekte von ethnographischen und
videobasierten Arbeitspraxis-Studien. Insbesondere Reflektion über die
Janusköpfigkeit der von Brun-Cottan
und Wall beschriebenen Einsatzmöglichkeiten von Video.
- Christopher Westrup: Discovering the Organisation:
Ethnography and Videoing for Requirements Analysis. In: Accounting,
Management, and Information Systems, May 1997.
This paper seeks to clarify the role and deployment of two approaches drawn
from the social sciences for requirements analysis namely ethnography and
video based analysis. The contention is that requirements techniques are
important resources in mutually constituting what is recognized as the
‘organisation’ and what is labelled as ‘information technology’. Proponents of
ethnography and video based analysis argue that these techniques represent
more faithfully the complexity of organisational life. However, an underlying
problematic for producing inscriptions such as film or reports that may be
manipulated and moved away from the original site. Rather than claiming
authority based on discovering the ‘organisation’ using these new techniques,
those engaged in systems development should be made aware of the constructed
nature of these accounts. This could lead to more reflective approaches which
combine the observational qualities of ethnography and video based analysis
with the participation of those that are being observed.
- Wendy Mackay: Ethics, Lies, and
Videotape. CHI í95, ACM SIGCHI & SIGOIS, 1995.
Abstract: Videotape has become one of the CHI community’s most useful
technologies: it allows us to analyze users’ interactions with computers,
prototype new interfaces, and present the results of our research and
technical innovations to others. But video is a double-edged sword. It is
often misused, however unintentionally. How can we use it well, without
compromising our integrity? This paper presents actual examples of
questionable videotaping practices. Next, it explains why we cannot simply
borrow ethical guidelines for the capture, analysis and presentation of