Collaboration and Materiality: New places, communities and practices of the...
OAP 2017, the seventh session of OAP workshops, will concentrate on the subject of collaboration and materiality, or to put it differently how ‘matter matters’ (Carlile & Langley, 2013) in the context of collaboration. In what follows, we introduce possible themes and topics of interest.
Today’s social life is characterized by increasing collaborations and/or networks within and between organizations involving a large number of stakeholders with different profiles and different interests and intensions. More and more, with the so-called ‘end of waged employment’, a high number of individuals (independent workers) are involved in complex and fluid collaborations, depending on market demand. Collaborations and networks appear as collective responses to address transversal questions that people face in distributed environments. One difficult issue for such heterogeneous and distributed networks/collaborations concerns their ability to maintain their own dynamics of coherent and accepted collective action and teleology. In particular, it requires the setup of common spaces (physical or virtual) and timeslots (synchronous or not) for collaborative work. And due to the nature of the collective - i.e. bringing together individuals and objects from different institutions, organizations and (potentially) distant geographic locations - those spatial and temporal domains are not given a priori. In this context, a growing number of possibilities and themes have arisen/emerged, in particular the three following ones:
- New forms of projects: projects are growingly global, and with an increased complexity. More and more, projects involve distributed actors, and open logics. Projects have no clear temporal and spatial boundaries they involve open communities, focus on ever evolving products, and result in open innovations). This involves collaborative modalities, materializations, mediations, which probably depart from those of the eighties or even nineties;
- The emergence of third places in the context of the collaborative economy: in contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places “host the regular, voluntary, informal, and happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home and work.” (Oldenburg, 2001, p.17). These third places are now occupying a central role in the organizing process of some collectives. These places can be public spaces, beer gardens, main streets, pubs, cafés, coffeehouses, post offices, but also fab labs, maker spaces, hacker spaces and any other kind of co-working place. Such places are in certain circumstances becoming the heart of a community’s social vitality. They are the places, times and spaces at the heart of the emerging collaborative economy, i.e. a new market logic expected to be based on gift-counter-gifts, horizontal collaboration and value-co-creation. Critical perspectives about theses discourses and practices are welcome.
- Exploring digital materiality and digital affordance: coined by Gibson (1977), the concept of affordance is based on the assumption that what may principally matter about an artifact is not what it’s made out of, but what it affords people to do. Therefore, digital materiality suggests considering digital artifacts (i.e. software, virtual meeting rooms, etc.) as important as material artifacts in the organizing processes. We believe that this new interpretation of materiality opens new avenues for approaching the concept of collaboration and materiality in a context where collaboration is often asynchronous, and distributed among different geographical areas, and time zones. The stakes of digital materiality could also be explored in the development of the collaborative economy, where digital platforms such as Amazon, YouTube, AppStore, TripAdvisor, play a key role.
This workshop will aim at shedding light on the following topics, among others:
- Comprehensive studies of the new forms of collaborations: what are the specificities of the new forms of projects, third places and public spaces? What are the new materializations or mediations involved? How do these new organizations emerge in time and space?
- To which extent do these collaborations affect workers’ identity? Do they modify hierarchies, power relationships?
- How do actors make sense of these collaborations and their material entanglement? How do actors develop new forms of collective, embodied, sensemaking through digitalization, new artifacts and spaces?
- Exploration of material practices and processes related to learning, creativity and innovation: What type of learning and knowledge dynamics are developed through these new forms of collaborations? Do co-working spaces, fab labs, BYOD, maker spaces, hacker spaces create new conditions for collaborative innovation? To which extent do they favor creativity?
- New work practices (generalization of entrepreneurship, end of work, coworking, cohoming, digital nomads, DIY…) and their impact on collaboration: how does working at home impact collaboration? What are the socio-temporal consequences of working at home? How do new forms of mobility affect work and collaboration?
- Beyond digital platforms, we are also particularly interested in papers emphasizing the role and possible return) of communities in the context of the sharing and collaborative economies.
Of course, OAP 2017 will also be open to more general contributions about Science and Technology studies, ontologies, sociomateriality, organizational sensemaking mediated by technological or material artefacts, anthropology of technology or more general theoretical and empirical work about materialization and performativity processes in organizations and organizing.
16th June (at SMU): 3 PM-8 PM
-workshop about key trends of the collaborative economy, and how Science & Technology Studies can help to get them;
- Panel of academics;
- Cocktail at SMU
17th-18th June (9 AM- 6 PM):
Workshop at ESSEC campus in Singapore