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Work practice and technology: A retrospective

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date1/01/2011
Host publicationMaking Work Visible: Ethnographically Grounded Case Studies of Work Practice
EditorsMargaret H. Szymanski, Jack Whalen
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780511921360
ISBN (Print)9780521190725
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Preface During the decade from 1989 to 1999, workplace research at PARC was based in the Work Practice and Technology research area. In anticipation of the group's disbanding in 2000, its members organized a symposium under the heading “Work Practice and Technology: The next twenty years of research.” Over one hundred participants attended from North America, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, and Australia. The symposium consisted of one day of panels at Xerox PARC, followed by two days of working groups and celebrations at Half Moon Bay, California. The text that follows is my opening address for the symposium, aimed at providing context for the gathering as well as a brief, retrospective summary of some of the work practice research accomplished during the preceding twenty years at PARC. While references to publications that provide further detail on the studies mentioned have been added, the text has otherwise been left unedited to give a sense for the spirit of the occasion. One inspiration for us in organizing this gathering was the prospect of bringing our various, partially overlapping networks of friends and colleagues interested in work and technology together in one place. So in discussing how best to welcome you all we decided that we had better begin by introducing you to each other. Rather than have you turn to your neighbor and shake hands, or go around the room and have each of you tell your story (though that would be a fascinating event in its own right!), we decided that I should adopt the Danish practice at a large celebratory gathering, wherein the host explains to their guests who don't all know each other how they all came to be there.