Addressing the Conflicting Dimension of Groupware: A Case Study in Software Requirements Validation

keywords: Software requirements validation, groupware, conflict dimension, negotiation and collaboration support, integrative attitudes.
This paper addresses the conflicting dimension of groupware, seeking the reconciliation of two very different assumptions about the users' attitudes using groupware tools: users either collaborate or negotiate to reach consensus. We argue that groupware should integrate the full spectrum of attitudes occurring between these two extremes. The designed solution integrates content and process support in a coherent model supporting low and high conflict situations. Furthermore, we propose a set of benefits and resistances, developed at the user-interface level, aiming to influence users towards low conflict attitudes when interacting with groupware. This approach was applied in a case study involving the development of a groupware tool supporting Quality Function Deployment for software requirements validation in a real-world organization. The case study indicated that the proposed approach was beneficial promoting consensus.
reference: Vol. 25, 2006, No. 6, pp. 523–546