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Coworking: A Transdisciplinary Overview

58 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2016  

Julian M Waters-Lynch

RMIT University - School of Management, Students

Jason Potts

RMIT University

Tim Butcher

Griffith University

Jago Dodson

Centre for Urban Research

Joe Hurley

Global, Urban and Social Studies

Date Written: January 26, 2016

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of ‘coworking’ to an academic audience. It argues that coworking is a complex social phenomenon that can be differentiated from other spatial concepts that relate to work, learning and social interactions. The paper provides an historical account of the origins of coworking and reviews the existing scholarly and popular literature, offering a theoretical distinction between coworking spaces and serviced offices that hinges upon the degree of social collaboration versus the importance of location and facilities of the office environment. An overview of the most recent data on the number and location of coworking spaces across the world is provided, including a few examples that demonstrate the spatial distribution of coworking spaces within cities. It also provides some data on typical profiles of coworkers, and links coworking to the broader contextual debates on non-standard and creative work. Finally the paper suggests some future research directions by linking relevant extant theory with key questions across the fields of economic geography, urban planning economics and organisational studies.

Keywords: Coworking Spaces, Business Incubators, Serviced Offices, Hacker Spaces, Maker Spaces, Startup Accelerators, New Learning Spaces, Third Places

Suggested Citation

Waters-Lynch, Julian M and Potts, Jason and Butcher, Tim and Dodson, Jago and Hurley, Joe, Coworking: A Transdisciplinary Overview (January 26, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2712217 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2712217

Julian Waters-Lynch (Contact Author)

RMIT University - School of Management, Students ( email )

Australia

Jason Potts

RMIT University ( email )

Tim Butcher

Griffith University ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

Jago Dodson

Centre for Urban Research ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

Joe Hurley

Global, Urban and Social Studies ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

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