An enquiry into the temporal coordination of Groupware Calendar Systems (GCS) : conceptualizing the private and public perspectives
Groupware Calendar Systems (GCS), asynchronous on-line meeting schedulers are designed to fulfil the increased need for coordination of work, by supporting time management of temporally and geographically dispersed individuals and groups. From a study of the literature on GCS adoption, a premise was constructed that temporal coordination of GCS requires a marriage of conflicting private and public perspectives. This is based on the fact that firstly, the system has to support both individual and group work, and secondly, generally considered `private' information has to be publicized by individuals. However, there is a lack of understanding of the dynamism of these perspectives especially in relation to the process of temporal coordination in GCS. The aim of this thesis is to understand and conceptualize temporal coordination of GCS. The research strategy of this thesis adopts a `grounded approach' together with a `progressive research approach' to investigate the GCS phenomenon. The actions and processes of GCS-in-use are examined using the case study method. The research design progressively refines and reflects upon the findings in two stages: stage-one, two pilot studies and stage-two, two case studies. A selection of data collection techniques were used in order to obtain a rich data set via semi-structured in-depth interviews, observations, questionnaires, documentation and photographs. The analysis employed a pattern-matching technique and the `SCOT' framework, modified to examine the process of temporal coordination and the dynamic relationships produced in GCS which led to the construction of a new conceptual model. This model of 'reflective temporal equilibrium' presents the state of temporal coordination, formed by the phenomenon of continuous conflict between the private and public perspectives. The outcomes of this thesis provide a clearer theoretical picture of GCS, consequently leading to implications for its future design and adoption for better coordination and collaboration of work.