ERIC Number: ED418277
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
The Ecology of Collaborative Work. Workscape 21: The Ecology of New Ways of Working.
Becker, Franklin; Quinn, Kristen L.; Tennessen, Carolyn M.
A study examined Chiat/Day inc. Advertising's team-based virtual office in which work could occur at any location inside or outside the office at any time. Three sites used three workplace strategies: full virtual (FV), modified virtual (MV), and conventional (C). Interviews, observations, and archival data were used to assess project teams doing similar work at each site. Findings indicated that the greater number of employees and larger office size of the MV office with multiple floors limited interaction outside of teams and strategic business units. The FV and C offices with smaller staffs on a single floor made interaction with other teams easier. Common rooms led to better communication, coordination, and team spirit and helped reduce hierarchical interaction patterns. Activity hubs fitted out with cafeteria-like furniture and food and beverages were valued spaces for working and informal socializing. Dedicated spaces in the FV for support disciplines and creative teams enhanced communication and collaboration. Technology was used primarily for keeping in touch and limiting paper copies. The small, private rooms did not provide adequate opportunities for concentration and creative concept development. Implementation of the virtual office did not drastically change the work process. The more significant change included removal of assigned workstations and addition of dedicated project rooms that enhanced team identity and cross-functional communication. (Contains 48 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Collegiality, Cooperation, Human Factors Engineering, Interpersonal Relationship, Interprofessional Relationship, Organizational Change, Organizational Climate, Organizational Development, Peer Relationship, Teamwork, Work Environment
International Workplace Studies Program, E-213 MVR Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 ($45).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Ithaca. Coll. of Human Ecology at Cornell Univ.