IWP June 2010 Blackberries and mobile work

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Recent Presentation from the 2010 Institute of Work Psychology Conference

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  • Concentrating in this talk on mobile email altho others of interest in the wider project and in relation to general idea of mobility
  • Constant and immediate performance data transmitted through email.
  • Responsiveness as demonstrating your general availability and commitment Responsiveness as demonstrating your knowledge and awareness of what is going on at all times Responsiveness as racking up amount of communication – respond immediately AND later Performativity: ‘doing performance’ through the BB
  • IWP June 2010 Blackberries and mobile work

    1. 1. Blackberries and mobile work: fruitful and frustrating? Gillian Symon and Katrina Pritchard Acknowledgement: This work is supported by a grant from the British Academy (SG-54143) IWP 2010: 29/6 – 1/7/10 Tensions and paradoxes in a virtual working world
    2. 2. Mobile Technologies and Mobile Work <ul><li>Mobile Technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laptops (and etc) and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handhelds (as here) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Workspaces outside workplace or work times </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Home, commute, spaces ‘between’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evenings, weekends, holidays </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Embedding workspaces (Multi-tasking) </li></ul>
    3. 3. Blackberry functions Mobile Phone (text, voice) Camera Calendar GPS Mapping Mobile Email Internet access IM (via Blackberry PIN service) “ spare brain”
    4. 4. Research Issues <ul><li>In addition to work-life balance issues (e.g. Middleton, Mazmanian etc), what implications do mobile technologies have for working practices?, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge management? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>communication practices? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work relationships? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Across different groups of employees </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretical perspective: practice lens </li></ul>
    5. 5. Research Overview <ul><li>Engineering firm operating in the rail industry: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>time and space key operational variables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blackberries widely distributed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>46 interviews across four user groups </li></ul><ul><li>Initial thematic coding completed using nVivo8 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Sampling Framework <ul><li>Corporate Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Professional background </li></ul><ul><li>HQ-based </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic issue of BB because of seniority </li></ul><ul><li>Local Operations Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Operations background </li></ul><ul><li>Local offices </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic issue of BB because of geography (remote) </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Professional background </li></ul><ul><li>HQ-based but mobile work </li></ul><ul><li>Make business case for BB issue </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Operations Engineers </li></ul><ul><li>Operations background </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile work (rapid response) </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic issue of BB because of mobile work </li></ul>
    7. 7. Tensions in mobile email use Individual efficiency Overwhelming others Knowledge Management Speed of exchange Quality of exchange Communication Practices Visibility & accessibility Observed & tracked Work relationships
    8. 8. Tensions in mobile email use <ul><li>DATA REMOVED FROM SLIDE SHARE VERSION </li></ul>Individual efficiency Overwhelming others Knowledge Management
    9. 9. Tensions in mobile email use <ul><li>DATA REMOVED FROM SLIDE SHARE VERSION </li></ul>Speed of exchange Quality of exchange Communication Practices
    10. 10. Tensions in mobile email use <ul><li>DATA REMOVED FROM SLIDE SHARE VERSION </li></ul>Visibility & accessibility Observed & tracked Work relationships
    11. 11. Conclusions <ul><li>Why are there tensions? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsiveness as de facto performance measure? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organizational culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic context </li></ul></ul><ul><li>QUOTE REMOVED FROM SLIDE SHARE VERSION </li></ul><ul><li>What can be done about them? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organizational reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>informed practice </li></ul></ul>

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