Conceptualizing time, space and computing for work and organizing

Heejin Lee, Steve Sawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Through this article we draw on concepts of time and space to help us theorize on the uses of information and communication technologies in work and for organizing. We do so because many of the contemporary discussions regarding work and organization are usually, and too often implicitly, drawing on rudimentary understandings of these concepts. Our focus here is to advance beyond simplistic articulations and to provide a more conceptually sound approach to address time, space and the uses of information and communication technologies in work. We do this focusing on temporal and spatial relations as a means to depict time and space at work. We characterize work as varying by two characteristics: the degree of interaction and the level of individual autonomy. We then develop a functional view of information and communication technologies relative to their uses for production, control, coordination, access and enjoyment. We conclude by integrating these concepts into an initial framework which allows us to theorize that new forms of work are moving towards four distinct forms of organizing. We further argue that each of these four forms has particular spatial and temporal characteristics that have distinct and different needs for information and communication technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-317
Number of pages25
JournalTime & Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • information and communication technology
  • organization
  • space
  • time
  • work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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