How does a telecommunications company function when its right hand often doesn’t know what its left hand is doing? How do rapidly expanding, interdisciplinary organizations hold together and perform their knowledge work? In Network, Clay Spinuzzi draws on two warring theories of work activity – activity theory and actor-network theory – to examine the networks of activity that make a telecommunications company work and thrive. In doing so, Spinuzzi calls a truce between the two theories, bringing them to the negotiating table to parley about work. Specifically, about net work: the coordinative work that connects, coordinates, and stabilizes polycontextual work activities. To develop this uneasy dialogue, Spinuzzi examines the texts, trades, and technologies at play at Telecorp, both historically and empirically. Drawing on both theories, Spinuzzi provides new insights into how net work actually works and how our theories and research methods can be extended to better understand it.
Published in 2008 by Cambridge University Press.
See my slide decks discussing the concepts in the chapters of Network.
- Emergent leadership: Two cases
- Learning to cross boundaries: Vertical and horizontal learning in interpenetrated organizations