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Title:Unpacking Dispersed Work: How Social Context Affects Social Networks, Learning, and Attachment
Author(s):Rock, Kevin Walter
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Michael G. Pratt
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Management
Abstract:This dissertation is centered on a new typology of dispersed work, defined broadly as any work arrangement that involves an employee working away from his or her central or home organizational facility. Specifically, previously untested dimensions of dispersion are empirically examined along with one's information and mentoring social networks in order to better understand the effects of dispersion on individual-level learning and attachment outcomes. This approach is taken to explain contradictory results in the dispersion literature and to address a lack of understanding regarding how dispersed work affects individuals. The primary data collection in this study was a four-month, three-phase survey of employees in a Fortune 500 high-tech company referred to as DSP. Additional data was collected via semi-structured interviews with 14 DSP managers. Results highlight the importance of one's social context when dispersed, and confirm the strong relationship between social networks and critical outcomes. Specifically, individuals benefit the most from being dispersed around other organizational employees, and that being around these organizational others may be the most helpful for those employees that spend the most time dispersed. One's richness of communication while working was also important in explaining outcomes. The implications of this research are discussed, along with several potential future research directions. Overall this study helps understand the effects of physical proximity and social environments on individuals, and should prove to help organizations effectively manage both the productivity and social aspects of a dispersed workforce.
Issue Date:2004
Description:121 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3153415
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004

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