Collaboration and Communication in Networks of Work
Enterprise Collaboration Platforms provide a rich infrastructure enabling people to work together, to communicate, share information, coordinate team projects, and collaborate on joint work. This project investigates transformations to work processes and practices in these large-scale, heterogeneous platforms in order to obtain deeper theoretical and practical understandings of how collaborative work takes place. We examine how employees use the affordances and functionality of collaboration platforms to organise and coordinate their everyday work and how new ways of working become standardised and embedded within organisational processes.
Specifically, we analyse the ways that digital work is orchestrated and coordinated and how coordination mechanisms are designed and evolve to meet the temporal unfolding and situated nature of coordinative work. The unit of analysis and focus of the work traverses between localist studies of interaction and coordination of individual work practices to the examination of coordinative processes across large heterogeneous information infrastructures.
The objectives of the project are to investigate the work processes, practices and artefacts that are required to coordinate collaborative work in emerging data-rich, networked environments. The goal is to develop understandings of the contextual dependencies of coordination practices within specific contexts and examine how such practices and artefacts are being standardised and embedded in large-scale information infrastructures.
In doing so, to also account for variations and commonalities across different local and global settings.
These methods enable the examination of work from the atomic, micro-level of the actions of individual employees to the large-scale, meso-level collective actions and work processes across an organisational context. These methods also make visible and enable the analysis of the role and agency of non-human artefacts (documents, routines, sensors, robotic agents etc.) in the transformation and coordination of digital work.
Prof. Dr. Susan P. Williams
Prof Dr. Petra Schubert