Computer Supported Collaborative Working (CSCW) combines existing technology such as: groupware, virtual reality, knowledge management, document management, decision support and videoconferencing with human and social sciences, such as: ergonomics (i.e. Human Computer Interaction, or HCI) sociology, psychology, and socio-anthropology.
The focus of this research and technology is the development of shared electronic spaces that embody a social environment in which people can meet, share ideas, explore problems and resolve work-issues.
The technology currently being embraced includes: video teleconferencing, data sharing, document sharing, shared-whiteboards, chat, instant messaging, online-presence (ICQ, Ding etc.), bulletin boards, threaded news and discussion group systems, email, mailing-lists, voting/polling, virtual communities and virtual reality.
Applications of the technology include enterprize level collaboration, corporate conferencing, distance learning, distributed project team management, interagency consultation, decision-making support and the development of virtual employee-communities within distributed organizations.
CSCW is predicated on the use of TCP/IP connections either on a corporate intranet/extranet, or on the public internet.