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KUBS seminar: The role of communities of practice in mediating the effects of technology change amongst skilled workers

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Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Venue: Kingston Business School building, Room 1007, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB
Price: free
Speaker(s): Professor Chris Ivory, Anglia Ruskin University

KUBS seminar: The role of communities of practice in mediating the effects of technology change amongst skilled workers

Abstract

Increasingly, communities of skilled mobile workers are finding their work shaped by a growing range of flexible and mobile information and communication technologies. Knowledge and experience are being replaced by increasingly intelligent expert systems; while time with colleagues and managers is being replaced by interaction with decision support. Communities of practitioners (CoPs), including police officers (Ivory and Sanchez, 2015) consultants (Agostini, et al., 2005) health and care workers (Clark, Nguyen and Sweller, 2006), sales people (Schlosser, (2007) and repair workers (Ivory, in preparation), are on the front line of these changes. The technology itself is part of a relentless drive toward seeking greater workforce efficiencies. These efficiencies are gained, primarily, by individualising workers - that is, by reducing the need to undertake lengthy training and reducing the need to ‘return to base' to use office-bound technologies, meet managers or interact with colleagues. While this phenomena has been researched in terms of its impacts on the individual worker, especially work intensification (Bittman, Brown, and Wajcman, 2009) and new challenges for management (Schlosser, 2007; Agostini, et al. 2005) it has not been researched in terms of the role played by incumbent CoPs in mediating and shaping the impact of these technologies on the experience and organisation of work, or indeed, in terms of the likely transformative effects on CoPs themselves. This seminar paper examines the simultaneous re-shaping, in use, of both technology and community in the case of boiler repair engineers.

About the speaker

Chris Ivory is Professor and Acting Director of the Institute for International Management Practice at Anglia Ruskin University. Chris's main areas of academic interest are project management, critical theory and innovation. He has written for journals including the British Journal of Management, Business History, Long Range Planning, Project Management Journal, Critical Perspectives on International Business, Construction Management and Economics, International Journal of Project Management, R&D Management, TASM and Ephemera. Chris has also written on business school strategy through a series of commissioned Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) reports. His present research and writing includes the use of mobile technology at work, the use (and non-use) of project management tools, the architect's experience of promoting innovation, interdisciplinary teams and the socio-technical processes driving stability and instability in projects. Chris is also interested in pursuing themes such as the role of the 'imagined user' in design and innovation, innovation in capital goods contexts, the study of practice and technology (in work and in broader contexts, such as in sustainable behaviours) and identity construction amongst business school academics.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Dr Marfuga Iskandarova
Email: M.Iskandarova@kingston.ac.uk

Directions

Directions to Kingston Business School building, Room 1007, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB:

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