Documenting Work

From Participant Observation to Participant Tracing

Authored by: Carsten Østerlund , Jaime Snyder , Steve Sawyer , Sarika Sharma , Matt Willis

Handbook of Qualitative Organizational Research

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848725096
eBook ISBN: 9781315849072
Adobe ISBN: 9781317908784


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Distributed work is hard to observe. A focus on the more tangible aspects of this work, namely documents, provides a useful lens into the work practices of organizational members in general, and those working in heterogeneous and distributed environments in particular. Imagine the distributed collaboration going into the production of this book involving many research teams distributed across the globe, the publishers, and the editors. The individual chapters have taken form first by circulating among co-authors and then reviewers and editors to finally end up at the publisher. Multiple databases, organizing schemes, email servers, and cloud-based systems have been part of this process as documents have flowed among distributed participants.

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