Reducing conflicts in groupware: metafunctions and their empirical evaluation
Certain functions in groupware affect more than one user who might have conflicting interests. To describe conflicts arising from the use of groupware functions, we distinguish the roles of the activator and the user affected. As technical means to lessen these conflicts, we develop two metafunctions: visibility of use and negotiability. We expect that these metafunctions reduce role-based conflicts and lead to higher acceptance of groupwaresystems among users. To examine these hypotheses we performed an empirical study in six different organizations. Using scenarios to present different design options to users, we confirmed most of our assumptions. Implications of these findings for the design of groupware are discussed.