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All Edge:
Understanding the
New Workplace
Networks
Clay Spinuzzi, University of Texas at Austin
clay.spinuzzi@utexas.edu
T...
About me…
The way we work is changing
A shift in the “3 Cs”
Communication, coordination, and collaboration
Example: An ad agency

•1970s: Bureaucracies
•1990s: ...
1970’s bureaucracies
1990’s institutional
adhocracies
2010’s all-edge
adhocracies
All-edge adhocracies
Characteristics

Good for

•Project-oriented
•Agile
•Innovative
•Allied
•Decentralized
•Autonomous

•...
Three case studies of all-edge adhocracies
All-edge adhocracies
• Nonemployer firms, who pull together

subcontractor networks to swarm projects.

• Coworking spaces...
All-edge adhocracies
require networking
• Associative links, not hierarchical links
• Cross-specialization (for capacity)
...
Coworking

• “Coworking is the social gathering of a group of

people, who are still working independently, but
who share ...
The “Good Neighbors”
Configuration
The “Good Partners”
Configuration
Spaces represented a
mix
Search Engine
Optimization
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of
improving the volume or quality of traffic ...
Flexibility through
Constant Customization
“Innovation is the primordial function” (Castells 2003,
p.100)
“The Internet is...
Project teams
Apprenticeship teams
Support teams
Project teams
Functional teams
Project teams
Values teams
Project teams
Taco clubteams
Project
Aggregate networks
Project teams
Extending the network
“I’ve got friends in med school.”
(Daria, Senior Search Specialist)
All-edge adhocracies are
organizational networks
• Flat structure
• Changing composition
• Flexibility
• Adaptability
How do we support all-edge adhocracies?
Supporting strengths

• Workplace structure
• Physical infrastructure
• Service infrastructure
• Collaborative infrastruct...
Shoring up weaknesses

• Collaborative project management
• Stage management
• Team management
Realizing the potential

• The right projects
• The right people
• The right combinations
Questions?
All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks
All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks
All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks
All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks
All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks
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All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks

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I presented this talk to the Austin Chamber of Commerce in November 2013. How are new information and communication technologies enabling us to work together in new ways? I discuss some of the lessons from case studies I've conducted in Austin.

Published in: Business, Technology
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All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks

  1. 1. All Edge: Understanding the New Workplace Networks Clay Spinuzzi, University of Texas at Austin clay.spinuzzi@utexas.edu Twitter: @spinuzzi
  2. 2. About me…
  3. 3. The way we work is changing
  4. 4. A shift in the “3 Cs” Communication, coordination, and collaboration Example: An ad agency •1970s: Bureaucracies •1990s: Adhocracies •2010s: All-edge adhocracies
  5. 5. 1970’s bureaucracies
  6. 6. 1990’s institutional adhocracies
  7. 7. 2010’s all-edge adhocracies
  8. 8. All-edge adhocracies Characteristics Good for •Project-oriented •Agile •Innovative •Allied •Decentralized •Autonomous •Swarming complex projects (not the long grind) •Tactical maneuvers (not strategic direction) •Innovation (not repeated, reliable outcomes with tight tolerances)
  9. 9. Three case studies of all-edge adhocracies
  10. 10. All-edge adhocracies • Nonemployer firms, who pull together subcontractor networks to swarm projects. • Coworking spaces, where all-edge adhocracies can form and recombine. • Workplace adhocracies in high-tech industries such as SEO, which often extend beyond the bounds of the workplace.
  11. 11. All-edge adhocracies require networking • Associative links, not hierarchical links • Cross-specialization (for capacity) • Trust • Coordination • Flexibility These aims are not currently well supported in offices—at work or at home.
  12. 12. Coworking • “Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.” (Wikipedia)
  13. 13. The “Good Neighbors” Configuration
  14. 14. The “Good Partners” Configuration
  15. 15. Spaces represented a mix
  16. 16. Search Engine Optimization “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site or a web page (such as a blog) from search engines via ‘natural’ or un-paid (‘organic’ or ‘algorithmic’) search results ...” (Wikipedia)
  17. 17. Flexibility through Constant Customization “Innovation is the primordial function” (Castells 2003, p.100) “The Internet is the essential tool to ensure customization in a context of high-volume production and distribution” (Castells 2003, p.77) “[Projects are] all very different” (Stacy, Account Manager)
  18. 18. Project teams
  19. 19. Apprenticeship teams
  20. 20. Support teams Project teams
  21. 21. Functional teams Project teams
  22. 22. Values teams Project teams
  23. 23. Taco clubteams Project
  24. 24. Aggregate networks Project teams
  25. 25. Extending the network “I’ve got friends in med school.” (Daria, Senior Search Specialist)
  26. 26. All-edge adhocracies are organizational networks • Flat structure • Changing composition • Flexibility • Adaptability
  27. 27. How do we support all-edge adhocracies?
  28. 28. Supporting strengths • Workplace structure • Physical infrastructure • Service infrastructure • Collaborative infrastructure • Benefits infrastructure • Self-structure
  29. 29. Shoring up weaknesses • Collaborative project management • Stage management • Team management
  30. 30. Realizing the potential • The right projects • The right people • The right combinations
  31. 31. Questions?

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