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Title: Boundary management in ICT-enabled work : exploring structuration in information systems research
Author: Salamoun Sioufi, Randa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 606X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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ICTs have enabled increased mobility and created a new era of workplace connectivity. Due to changes in work organization, global operations, increased mobility, and the new opportunities they are creating; work requires more coordination, more travel and a higher frequency of boundary spanning. ICTs have infiltrated into the personal life of individuals, while similarly, having an increasing impact on how organizations manage their workers‘ work-life balance. This research investigates the work boundary negotiation process in ICT-enabled work.Using an in-depth case study supplemented with visual data, this thesis studies the case of Sigma, an international consulting firm, that serves clients located in a large geographical area. It explores how consultants exhibiting mobile work practices, use ICTs to negotiate work boundaries. It draws on the structurational model of technology and complements it with the boundary object construct. The utilisation of this combined approach allows further understanding of work boundary negotiation.The research reveals that some ICTs as technological artefacts are boundary objects bridging between different groups of actors, crossing work boundaries, and allowing actors to negotiate their work boundaries while challenging traditional boundaries. Thus, allowing consultants to use their ICTs (specifically their smartphone) to negotiate their work boundaries on a need to basis. The boundary negotiation process (as revealed by the structuration process) is the means by which consultants try to make the most out of existing social structures – in this case specifically domination – in their organizational context. The ICT becomes a source of power and is mainly used to manifest domination over available resources. Consultants use them to maintain control over their life, increase their legitimacy and convey that they are professional experts. ICTs allow consultants to continuously redefine their work boundaries which become dynamic, fluid and contextual; the research reaffirms the sociotechnical nature of work boundaries.The thesis also develops a conceptual model of work boundary negotiation that conceptually illustrates how boundary negotiation is the outcome of the structuration process and the negotiation of existing structures of domination, legitimation and signification.
Supervisor: Greenhill, Anita Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: work boundary ; ICT-enabled work ; structurational model of technology (SMT) ; boundary object ; smartphone ; consultant ; visual data ; mobile work ; work boundary negotiation ; power