In sync over distance : flexible coordination through communication in geographically distributed software development work
Author(s)Im, Hyun Gyung
Flexible coordination through communication in geographically distributed software development work
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society.
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In this dissertation, I examine how the members of a distributed software development team (LC) operating entirely virtually for four and half years developed useful social practices to collaborate across time and space. Based on various communication data from LC, I analyze the communicative structuring of distributed work in members' daily practices. I show that "temporal flexibility," often mentioned as key advantage of virtual organizing, is socially accomplished through "boundary management," as members negotiate different temporal boundaries and learn and adapt to others' temporal patterns. Second, I identify dynamic coordination practices in LC that interweave multiple modes of communication and coordination in evolving work contexts, and demonstrate how these coordination practices facilitate temporal flexibility in LC. Finally, I analyze how members used the asynchronous communication medium of email to coordinate their tasks, using the notion of genre and genre system.(cont.) My analysis suggests that communicating, coordinating, and temporal structuring are not distinctive activities, but are closely bound up with each other in a local practice; time, communication, and coordination are dynamically reconfigured over time, reflecting evolving work, social relations, and local contexts. Key Words: distribute teams, virtual teams, virtual organizing, technology-mediated communication, temporal flexibility, coordinating, communicating, temporal structuring, social practices, communicative structuring, genre and genre system, reconfiguration of time, communication, and coordination.
Thesis (Ph. D. in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS))--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program in Science, Technology and Society, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (p. 209-219).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Science, Technology and Society.