Reframing the infomated household-workplace

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Information and Organization, 2002, 12 (2), pp. 109 - 134
Issue Date:
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'Reframing', a managerial tool for understanding organizational complexity (Bolman & Deal, 1997), is applied to Australian households that possess a large amount of information and communication technology (ICT). Applying reframing to interviews conducted in households indicates that major changes, including some contradictory changes, are occurring as a result of adopting ICT and home-based working. Viewed through the structural frame, boundaries between work and home are blurring, while simultaneously attempts are being made to reinforce the separation of these activities. The human resource frame indicates ICT is improving communication, convenience and recreation, but hampering relationships and increasing interference and distractions. Looked at through the political frame, power shifts and new ICT-related conflicts occur, but members are also empowered by having their own ICTs to achieve individual goals. Finally, symbolism arises from the very presence of ICT and work activities in the home, enabling the emergence of dual identities, 'household' and 'workplace'. The findings are discussed in the context of contradictory organizational consequences of ICT reported in other situations. In relation to remote working, it is suggested that the household is a vital third element, in addition to the employer and employee, and that reframing can be used by those considering home-based working, to help them understand the likely impacts on their household and to facilitate the transition to home-based working. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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