The Role of Context in Virtual Work

Journal article


Moser, KS, Vartiainen, MA and Cramton, C (2015). The Role of Context in Virtual Work. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings. 2015 (Jan), pp. 13582-13582.
AuthorsMoser, KS, Vartiainen, MA and Cramton, C
Abstract

In this symposium we address the tension between working remotely ‘anytime, anywhere and with anyone’ and the individual embeddedness of the collaborators in a specific local physi-cal, social, cultural, mental and symbolic space. In virtual work, there are two main reasons why the importance of context increases and adds further layers of meaning to context: a) the variety of locations collaborators work from, and b) the dynamic of changing locations while working that is made possible by mobile devices and wireless connections. However, so far the role of context has not been explicitly addressed as a concept relevant to theorizing and researching vir-tual work. The role of context can be approached from three perspectives: Firstly, we suggest that a re-consideration of conventional views of technology may help us to more effectively study the multiple, emergent, and dynamic socio-material configurations that constitute contemporary or-ganizations and their practices. Secondly, developments in mobile technologies and infrastruc-tures enable increasingly flexible ways of working. Thirdly, we would like to propose Lewin’s idea of ‘life space’ (Lebensraum) as a way of understanding the multiple layers of meaning of ‘context in virtual work’. The four papers and the critical review by the discussant expand our understanding on the role of context by addressing the different layers relevant to context in virtual work: The rele-vance of a physical place in mobile work, familiarity as a feature of social space in teamwork, the cultural and social space of status cues in communication, and the symbolic space of linguis-tic markers.

Year2015
JournalAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
Journal citation2015 (Jan), pp. 13582-13582
PublisherAcademy of Management
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2015.13582
Publication dates
Print06 Feb 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jan 2017
Accepted06 Feb 2015
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
EditorsManagement, AO
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