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 UK central government organization is presented. 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ran into a number of difficulties, was resisted by its potential users for a variety of reasons, was faced with being withdrawn from service on a number of occasions, and remains only partly used.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 kinds of problems that a project to introduce computer support for cooperative work to an actual organization is likely to face are identified. A series of concepts is offered to help manage the complexity of these problems. It isargued that experience from the field should be used to reorganize the research agenda of CSCW.
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