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Distance work: in the intersection between technology, politics and organization

Author(s): Artikkel 2008
Abstract: This article describes three cases of ICT-supported development in public-sector organisations representing different types of distance work, and covering a time span of around 15 years. The first case describes telemedicine in a hospital; the second is about the introduction of home-offices in the Norwegian Labour Inspectorate. The last case describes a system with distributed work in the Norwegian Public Road Administration. Differences and similarities between the three cases are discussed, and we argue that the last case is qualitatively different from the others as distance work here emerged more as a necessary consequence of a comprehensive reorganisation, while distance work was of a more limited character in the first two cases. The cases also differ according to where the initiative came from; bottom-up initiatives were important in the first two cases, while the reorganisation in the Road Authorities was initiated from the top. The article further argues that the conditions for distance work have changed due to shifts in political paradigms, and that working from a distance has become “business as usual” in a number of organizations.
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The Journal of E-working, vol. 2 (2008), no. 1, pp. 1-11.