"Boundary-Spanning" Practices and Paradoxes Related to Trust Among People and Machines in a High-Tech Oil and Gas Environment

"Boundary-Spanning" Practices and Paradoxes Related to Trust Among People and Machines in a High-Tech Oil and Gas Environment

Vidar Hepsø (Statoil Research and Technology, Norway)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-564-1.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter follows subsea engineering coordinators (SEC) at Statoil, a major Norwegian oil company, and their collaboration with subsea engineering/operational support personnel and external vendors. This is a high-tech business that tends to be described by formal procedures and a strict division of labor, or in other words, strict hierarchy and market coordination mechanisms. Still, engineers in this setting perform substantial informal boundary work to be able to do their work efficiently. Their self-definition and devotion is realized through boundary-spanning interaction with various material resources and through extensive management of trust. The consequence of this knowledge intensive operational practice is that the engineers have to live continuously with paradoxes. In the light of the situation of these engineers, we address some of the dynamics of collaboration and control that such professionals must cope with in today’s high-tech environments.

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