Telework Paradoxes and Practices: The Importance of the Nature of Work

18 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016

See all articles by Sebastian Boell

Sebastian Boell

University of New South Wales

Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic

Information Systems, Technology and Management, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales

John Campbell

Australian National University (ANU) - School of Accounting & Business Information Systems

Date Written: July 2016

Abstract

Research on telework often focuses on the outcomes of telework, investigating if telework is ultimately a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ thing for teleworkers and their organisations. However, findings across telework research studies are often inconclusive, requiring deeper engagement with potential explanations for contradictory and paradoxical results. This study uses virtual ethnography (netnography) to investigate naturally occurring data. By analysing online debates related to Yahoo!’s decision to ban telework for its employees, this study surfaces aspects currently overlooked by telework research. These findings suggest that the diversity of the nature of work undertaken by knowledge workers and perceived differences in the suitability of different tasks for telework are of critical importance for understanding telework from a practice perspective. However, deeper engagement with the different kinds of work activities of knowledge workers is currently missing in the telework research literature. This study therefore contributes to better understanding of telework and paradoxical findings in telework research.

Keywords: telework, telecommuting, telework paradoxes, nature of work, virtual ethnography, netnography, Yahoo!, work activities.

Suggested Citation

Boell, Sebastian and Cecez-Kecmanovic, Dubravka and Campbell, John, Telework Paradoxes and Practices: The Importance of the Nature of Work (July 2016). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 114-131, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2808784 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12063

Sebastian Boell (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://skb.unifind.de

Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic

Information Systems, Technology and Management, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales ( email )

Information Systems, Technology and Management
Australian School of Business,
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www2.sistm.unsw.edu.au/nps/servlet/portalservice?GI_ID=System.LoggedOutInheritableArea&maxWnd

John Campbell

Australian National University (ANU) - School of Accounting & Business Information Systems ( email )

Canberra
Australia

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