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Invisible Social Infrastructures to Facilitate Time-pressed Distributed Organizing

[journal article]

Fenema, Paul C. van; Räisänen, Christine

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Abstract How do complex societal demands and time constraints posed by distributed temporary organizing affect organizational communication? Extending Bowker and Star’s (2002) work on infrastructures, we introduce two context-specific ‘invisible’, social infrastructures: organizational and relational. We empirically assess their role in an international, multi-site ERP-software implementation. We investigated how these infrastructures shaped organizational activities, aligned discourses, created order, and prevented divergent behaviours. We found that mutually interdependent organizational and relational infrastructures strengthened social relationships and saved time by facilitating non-routine collaboration and organizational communication under geographic and temporal constraints. We argue that the conceptualization of (infra)structural and process dynamics will help researchers and practitioners understand and handle organizational communication in distributed temporary organizations.
Free Keywords distributed organization; infrastructures; organizational communication; time constraints; time-space;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 341-360
Journal Time & Society, 14 (2005) 2-3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)