Experiences, Options and Challenges


Workshop Location
University of Siegen
Campus Unteres Schloss
Kohlbettstr. 17
57072 Siegen
Workshop Date
13 June, 2020

Information from ECSCW 2020 organisers

Due to the still unpredictable and dynamic Covid-19 situation world-wide, registration for the conference will be closed until the end of April, 2020. At the moment, the organisers recommend to save the date 13-17 Juneas ECSCW 2020 will take place. Due to current travel and event restrictions, organisers are currently working on alternatives that allow remote participation and will provide more detailed information on this option in the next few weeks.

Update for our ECSCW 2020 Workshop

We extend the deadline for submissions until Friday, 17 April, 2020.

Based on the current situation, there is a lot of uncertainty about submitting to conferences; we are aware of it – we are all in the same boot. But we are working on strategies to organize a workshop with remote participation with shorter sessions, taking into account time zone differences. And we think that this can also be highly productive! So, we hope that the extension of the deadline for our workshop and the registration for the conference will help you with your decision.

Workshop in short

This ECSCW workshop draws attention to research and development projects (R&D) that deal with cooperative and collaborative practices in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). European companies are for the most part SMEs: nine out of every ten companies can be defined as an SME (Eurostat 2015). They cover a huge variety of branches and fields, including diverse examples such as manufacturing, construction or IT start-ups, and meanwhile, there is again a growing sphere of CSCW projects that recognize the importance of this field. The empirical methods applied in such SME centered projects include qualitative methods with participant observation, interviewing or conducting co-design workshops, but also quantitative methods like the use of questionnaires or eye-tracking systems. In the workshop, we open up for sharing and reflecting experiences of doing research in SMEs and for discussing the characteristics and challenges of this (old and new) field in CSCW.

Submission plan

For contributions, we invite 2-4 page submissions (including references) from researchers, developers and practitioners who are working in and with SMEs until  3rd April, 2020.

In order to create a productive setting in the workshop right away, we would like to ask you to include the following aspects in the submission:

  1. Outline of the field of research or/and development they are working in,
  2. Short description of the respective SME context,
  3. Methods applied in the project (empirical, development/design and technological),
  4. Personal background (study, training, etc.) and
  5. Open questions, problems that you are facing or experiences you made and that you would like to discuss in the workshop.

Workshop agenda

The temporary schedule of our one-day workshop :

  1. Welcome and introduction
  2. First session: Getting to “work” (short presentations)
  3. – lunch break –
  4. Second session: Group work
  5. – coffee & cake break –
  6. Plenary session (feedback from group work and open discussion)
  7. Closing and “take-away” session

We are going to close the day with dinner and drinks in an informal gathering of the group (for interested participants) in one of Siegen’s nice restaurants in the historic part of the town. This is another chance to continue the day’s discussions and the networking in an informal way. 


Marén Schorch (corresponding chair) is a Postdoctoral researcher and leader of the BMBF junior research group KONTIKAT at the University of Siegen. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Trier, is specialized in qualitative research methods, and experienced in mixed methods. She has been involved in multiple PD projects at the University of Siegen. Her current research in CSCW deals with emergency preparedness, continuity and (digital, social, economic) change. She has published a wide range of articles, co-organized a number of CSCW-related workshops such as on ECSCW 2011, CSCW 2014 and CSCW 2017, COOP 2016 and GROUP 2016, held two master classes at ECSCW 2019 and also regularly reviews for ECSCW, CSCW, GROUP, CHI etc..

Fabienne Seifert is a PhD student and member of the BMBF junior research group KONTIKAT at the University of Siegen. She studied Sociology in Magdeburg, Bielefeld (Germany) and Vienna (Austria). Her dissertation deals with the perspective of emergency forces in crisis situations by the means of qualitative methods of social research (interviewing and participatory observation)Her thesis empirically carries out the attainment of routines in various crisis situations. In addition to the use of technical devices during operations and in emergency situations, which is particularly relevant for CSCW research, the everyday work of firefighters is in focus.

Hussain A. Syed is a Ph.D. researcher in the BMBF junior research group KONTIKAT at the University of Siegen. He is a computer scientist with a specialization in software technology and data science. His interests include human-machine interaction (HCI), computer supported-cooperative work (CSCW), model driven software development (MDSD) and machine learning (ML). His current research focus is to tailor and adapt the disaster resilience practices of big enterprises like BCM to the context of SMEs. He works in close liaison with the enterprises employing the qualitative and quantitative research methods to generate steady requirements for sustainable crisis technology. 

Christoph Kotthaus is a research associate and PhD candidate at the chair of Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Media at the University of Siegen. He graduated in information science and completed his thesis in an SME. In general, he worked in SMEs for more than ten years. At the University, he worked in and (partly) lead research projects regarding crisis management and real-time production scheduling and is currently involved in the participatory design of shop floor tools to support various activities (e.g. production scheduling or maintenance) within the SME 4.0 competence center Siegen. He was co-organizer of the conference Wirtschaftsinformatik 2019. 

Volkmar Pipek is Professor of Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Media at the University of Siegen, Germany and has widely published books and articles in the field of CSCW, with a specific interest in infrastructuring. He is also the co-leader of the project “INF-Infrastructural Concepts for Research in Cooperative Media” at the Collaborative Research Center 1187: Media of Cooperation and mentor of the BMBF junior research group KONTIKAT at the University of Siegen.


Siegen as workshop location

Siegen is a perfect location for running a workshop about SMEs because there are a lot of those “hidden champions” (Simon 1996) in the area, covering many different branches such as logistics, industry, production, trade, estate agencies, IT companies, media enterprises, private health services etc..


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© Images Copyright Marén Schorch