Francesca Alby, Cristina Zucchermaglio

Enter and exit the group: The participation framework in work activities in a hightech Company

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Groups, work practices, participation, web design, ethnography.

This paper aims to analyze how groups work and coordinate themselves in organizationally complex environments such high-tech settings. We study in particular how different kind of group participation supports in specific ways the organizational and social action in the two main work routines found in the Internet company where the research took place, creating groups "as a wave" (with open and permeable borders, unstable participation, variable and distributed leaderships, operative focus, short term) or closed groups (with closed borders, stable participation, same leader over time, focus on comprehension, long term duration). We show how the group is an "emerging " phenomenon, progressively built by the practical and situated organization of the working activities (and not so much by the belonging to roles or by formally decided rules), which behaves as one "organism", in which different activities and responsibilities are distributed among members.

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