CSCW systems are designed to improve group communication while alleviating negative interactions. However, their developers often focus on the technology, producing highly sophisticated software systems to address problems that may not exist in real-life groups or may not effectively address problems encountered by them. As a result of an extensive review of the literature and a large-scale survey of meeting participants in a University setting, we believe that we have identified the most important problems in group interaction. These are matched with specific features of CSCW technology, as well as with their potential drawbacks. This problem-solution-drawback arrangement is posited as a point of departure for a common knowledge base for future CSCW development. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.