Antecedents of Boundary Spanning E-Collaboration

Antecedents of Boundary Spanning E-Collaboration

Demosthenes Akoumianakis (Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Crete, Greece)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/ijec.2015040104
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Abstract

Spanning boundaries has emerged as a key topic in the scholarship on distributed organizing. Nonetheless, most of the works are motivated by boundaries designated by static demarcations of time and/or place, while only recently there is some evidence emphasizing the dynamic aspects of boundaries and boundary spanning. Following the latter tradition, the present research attempts to examine the antecedents of boundary spanning in the context of e-collaboration. This is approached using a cross case assessment of two interpretive case studies. The results suggest that cross-organizational e-collaboration can be analyzed in relation to five constructs: (a) representations through which collaborative engagements are attained; (b) the affordances of the (social) medium for reconfiguring agency, both human and non-human; (c) boundary negotiating artifacts; (d) source of togetherness and sense of community; and (e) type of enacted cyber-structures. It turns out that these five constructs can be used to anchor and qualify a range of boundary spanning e-collaboration regimes.
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Theoretical Foundations

There are two steams of research that are relevant to the present work. The first is related to constituents of e-collaboration which are either embedded in or enacted through technology, while the second stream addresses commonalities and differences of computer-mediated (and remediated) practices that span across proximity, thematic, intra- or inter-organizational boundaries. By reviewing related works, key principles are formulated to guide further analysis.

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