Location independent working: An ethnographic study.

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Lee, Amanda, DiDomenico, MariaLaura and Saunders, Mark N. K. 2017. Location independent working: An ethnographic study.
AuthorsLee, Amanda, DiDomenico, MariaLaura and Saunders, Mark N. K.
Abstract

This paper draws on the research experiences of the first author who conducted a longitudinal ethnographic research study to explore the impact of formalised location independent working (LIW) practices in a highly managerialist, post-1992 ‘new’ UK university. Findings suggest the formalisation of LIW caused a fundamental shift in the nature of the relationship between academics, managers and trades unions. This has far reaching consequences for the case study university and, potentially, for other institutions, which may be supporting similar working practices by encouraging their employees to work in spaces other than those provided by the organisation. Adopting an ethnographic research design enabled the first author to become fully embedded in the social and cultural context of the case study university, which in turn allowed access to the mundane, often hidden everyday behaviour and practices of academics.

This paper draws on the research experiences of the first author who conducted a
longitudinal ethnographic research study to explore the impact of formalised location
independent working (LIW) practices in a highly managerialist, post-1992 ‘new’ UK
university. Findings suggest the formalisation of LIW caused a fundamental shift in
the nature of the relationship between academics, managers and trades unions. This
has far reaching consequences for the case study university and, potentially, for other
institutions, which may be supporting similar working practices by encouraging their
employees to work in spaces other than those provided by the organisation. Adopting
an ethnographic research design enabled the first author to become fully embedded in
the social and cultural context of the case study university, which in turn allowed
access to the mundane, often hidden everyday behaviour and practices of academics.

KeywordsEthnography; Location independent working; Trade unions; Management; Higher education
Year2017
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622226
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
hdl:10545/622226
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Publication dates05 Sep 2017
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Deposited28 Feb 2018, 18:11
ContributorsUniversity of Surrey and University of Birmingham
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