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Communication Work: information society and work in 'postmodern organisations'

Kommunikationsarbeit: Informationsgesellschaft und Arbeit in postmodernen Organisationen
[working paper]

Knoblauch, Hubert

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Corporate Editor London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Department of Sociology
Abstract Within sociology and economy, the 'Information society' has become an important category characterising current trends in modern society. Although a huge amount of quantitative data has been gathered in order to assess the ongoing changes, one of the key features of information society, 'information work' (by which "information workers" are defmed) still needs clarification. Especially the question of how the quality of information work can be determined is still considered to be open. On the background of this discussion, it is argued that a clarification of the notion of 'information work' can be gained by looking 'Workplace Studies'. Focusing on the 'centres of co-ordination', they study work activities in what may be said the paradigmatic form of organisation in the 'information society'. However, instead of work being guided and determined by information technologies, it turns out to be rather situational, being characterised by contextual contingencies and the logic of interaction. For this reason, the concept of 'communicative work' is suggested which accounts for the situatedness of work processes, their contextual rationality and essential social interactivity.
Keywords working conditions; social change; technological change; data processing job; computer science; data processing technology; job; working process; work organization; postmodernism; information society; cooperation; social behavior; interaction
Classification Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations; Economic Sectors
Method qualitative empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 1998
City London
Page/Pages 24 p.
Series Department of Sociology Working Paper Series, 22
Status Postprint; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works