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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2022

Steve Sawyer and Erran Carmel

The authors present nine dimensions to provide structure for the many Futures of Work (FoW). This is done to advance a more sociotechnical and nuanced approach to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors present nine dimensions to provide structure for the many Futures of Work (FoW). This is done to advance a more sociotechnical and nuanced approach to the FoW, which is too-often articulated as singular and unidimensional. Futurists emphasize they do not predict the future, but rather, build a number of possible futures – in plural – often in the form of scenarios constructed based on key dimensions. Such scenarios help decision-makers consider alternative actions by providing structured frames for careful analyses. It is useful that the dimensions be dichotomous. Here, the authors focus specifically on the futures of knowledge work.

Design/methodology/approach

Building from a sustained review of the FoW literature, from a variety of disciplines, this study derives the nine dimensions.

Findings

The nine FoW dimensions are: Locus of Place, Locus of Decision-making, Structure of Work, Technologies’ Roles, Work–Life, Worker Expectations, Leadership Model, Firm’s Value Creation and Labor Market Structure. Use of the dimensions is illustrated by constructing sample scenarios.

Originality/value

While FoW is multi-dimensional, most FoW writing has focused on one or two dimensions, often highlighting positive or negative possibilities. Empirical papers, by their nature, are focused on just one dimension that is supported by data. However, future-oriented policy reports tend are more often multi-faceted analyses and serve here as the model for what we present.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Information Technology & People, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 February 2009

Ben Light and Steve Sawyer

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1100

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Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Jenny Kidd

The purpose of this paper is to highlight and reflect on the increased use of social media in the museums sector in the UK and beyond. It seeks to explore the challenges…

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11072

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight and reflect on the increased use of social media in the museums sector in the UK and beyond. It seeks to explore the challenges of utilising such media for institutions steeped in discourses of authority, authenticity and materiality.

Design/methodology/approach

Arguments are illustrated using examples of practice and policy from across the museums sector, and are informed by critical theory. In particular, Erving Goffman's frame analysis is used as a means for understanding and articulating the current use of social media by museums.

Findings

There is currently a gulf between the possibilities presented by social media, and their use by many museums. This leads to forms of frame misalignment, which can be intensely problematic. It is crucial that museums increase their understanding of the frames within which such activity is being encouraged and experienced.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not offer a comprehensive mapping of social media use by museums at the current time. Rather, it uses notable examples to foreground a number of concerns for exploration through further research.

Originality/value

The paper calls into question the naturalised discourse surrounding social media use in the museums sector. It calls for a re‐appraisal and re‐framing of such activity so that it might more genuinely and satisfactorily match the claims that are being made for and about it.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Roberta Lamb and Steve Sawyer

To extend the work of Rob Kling, whose research interests, and advocacy were at the center of a movement in analytical inquiry and empirical research now known as “social…

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1770

Abstract

Purpose

To extend the work of Rob Kling, whose research interests, and advocacy were at the center of a movement in analytical inquiry and empirical research now known as “social informatics”.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews the work of those who engage in social informatics research to strengthen and further the conceptual perspective, analytical approaches, and intellectual contributions of social informatics.

Findings

The vibrant and growing international community of active social informatics scholars has assembled a social informatics resource kit that includes: perspective lenses through which research data can be viewed critically; techniques for building theory and developing models from socially rich empirical data; and a common body of knowledge regarding the uses and effects of ICTs.

Originality/value

The paper identifies opportunities to engage new scholars in social informatics discussions, and suggests new venues for promoting and extending the work of scholars already enrolled in the social informatics movement.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Erran Carmel and Steve Sawyer

Discusses the characteristics of packaged software versus information systems (IS) development environments that capture the differences between the teams that develop…

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1881

Abstract

Discusses the characteristics of packaged software versus information systems (IS) development environments that capture the differences between the teams that develop software in these respective industries. The analysis spans four levels: the industry, the dynamics of software development, the cultural milieu, and the teams themselves. Finds that, relative to IS: the packaged software industry is characterized by intense time pressures, less attention to costs, and different measures of success; the packaged software development environment is characterized by being a “line” rather than “staff” unit, having a greater distance from the actual users/customers, a less mature development process; the packaged software cultural milieu is characterized as individualistic and entrepreneurial; the packaged software team is characterized as less likely to be matrix managed and being smaller, more co‐located, with a greater shared vision.

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Information Technology & People, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2007

Angel J. Salazar

Knowledge management has increasingly been regarded as an important research theme in information systems studies, with a substantial accumulated stock of empirical…

Abstract

Knowledge management has increasingly been regarded as an important research theme in information systems studies, with a substantial accumulated stock of empirical research. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast theoretical and methodological approaches to knowledge management in extant information systems studies. In so doing, the author builds a new typology and discusses relevant research questions and fundamental ontological and epistemological assumptions about the nature and study of social sciences, and the nature and scope of organizational knowledge. Previous typologies have tangled together basic assumptions about the nature and study of social sciences and the “transformative” nature and scope of organizational knowledge. The present typology acknowledges that these two dimensions need to be untangled to be able to discriminate and analyze fundamental assumptions that researchers, explicitly or implicitly, adopt in the study of knowledge management and information systems in organizations. This distinction is necessary because the implementation and use of information systems has the potential to enhance, or hinder, the transformative attributes or characteristics of organizational processes. This new typology is used to conceptualize, categorize, and criticize a sample of selected research articles, and to suggest new directions for research.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Kevin Crowston, Steve Sawyer and Rolf Wigand

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are reshaping many industries, often by reshaping how information is shared. However, while the effects and uses of ICT…

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4035

Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are reshaping many industries, often by reshaping how information is shared. However, while the effects and uses of ICT are often associated with organizations (and industries), their use occurs at the individual level. To explore the relationships between individual uses of ICT and changes to organization and industry structures, we examined the residential real estate industry. As agents, buyers and sellers increase their uses of ICT, they also change how they approach their daily work. The increasing uses of ICT are simultaneously altering industry structures by subverting some of the realtors’ control over information while also reinforcing the existing contract‐based structures. This structurational perspective and our findings help to explain why information intermediaries persist when technology‐based perspectives would suggest their disappearance.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Daniel Ashton

The aim of this paper is to present qualitative research with higher education games design students to explore situated understandings of work and the negotiation of…

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1159

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present qualitative research with higher education games design students to explore situated understandings of work and the negotiation of “work” and “non‐work” boundaries.

Design/methodology/approach

Situated understandings of work are examined through interviews and focus groups with games design students in the UK and contextualised with interviews with games industry professionals and attendance at industry careers events. The theoretical approach of “occupational devotion” is used to explore work practices and motivations, and “technological action” is then used to draw out the significance of relations with games technologies in this negotiation.

Findings

The main finding concerns the continued significance of a fixed field of “work” for students intending to progress from education into “work”. The importance of “work” was identified in how students positioned themselves (occupational devotion) and engaged with games technologies (technological action). This is contrasted with the emphasis on co‐creative relations and broadbrush assertions of blurring boundaries between work and non‐work.

Research limitations/implications

A larger sample of students that ranged across different digital gaming disciplines within higher education (programming; art) would add breadth and further perspectives. Further research would connect student perceptions of the games industry, from attending events such as careers fairs, and the industry promotional discourses and representational strategies. A longitudinal study would be valuable for tracing changes in recruitment strategies and industry and education intersections.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights into how higher education students engage with the games industry and articulates their personal development and employability attributes.

Originality/value

This paper makes a case for research with students as a means to explore boundaries of “work” and “non‐work”. It questions the blurring of “work” and “non‐work”, and provides conceptual pointers, combined with empirical research, that indicate the continued purchase of fixed notions of “work” for workers‐in‐the‐making. This is relevant for scholarly research into the sociology of work, higher education pedagogy, and industry‐education relations.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2009

Gordon Fletcher and Anita Greenhill

The popularity and persistence of Blogshops raises ethical issues regarding the presentation of the female teenage owners' “self” to others and the relationship they…

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1275

Abstract

Purpose

The popularity and persistence of Blogshops raises ethical issues regarding the presentation of the female teenage owners' “self” to others and the relationship they maintain with buyers and other owners.

Design/methodology/approach

This ongoing observational study of Singaporean Blogshops reveals a layered and interrelated typology of alternative e‐commerce activities that critiques many of the myths associated with e‐commerce particularly the extent and manner in which it can empower consumers.

Findings

It is argued that Blogshops represent a new formulation of e‐commerce practice that draws upon a rich assemblage that includes readily available and popular digital technologies and an efficient urban public transport system.

Research limitations/implications

This study is primarily emic in perspective and requires complementary ethnographic research among Blogshopowners and buyers – specifically female teenage Singaporeans.

Originality/value

The present study introduces the phenomenon of Blogshops to a wider academic and theoried audience through a critical interpretation of observed activities. In doing this the study offers insight into the complex intersection of public transport infrastructure, freely available Web‐based technologies and the significant influence that fashion exerts upon contemporary popular culture.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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