Title: Managers' cooperative work practices in computional artefacts-supported library systems
Subject: Computer and information science
Faculty: Faculty of Technology
Date: Wednesday 1 September 2021 at 10.00 am
Place: Room C1202 (Newton), building C, Växjö
External reviewer: Professor Ulrika Lundh Snis, University West, Sweden
Examining committee: Professor Luigina Ciolfi, University College Cork, Ireland
Professor Christina Keller, Lund University, Sweden
Professor Kari Rönkkö, Kristianstad University, Sweden
Chairperson: Associate professor Päivi Jokela, Department of Informatics, Linnaeus University
Main supervisor: Professor Anita Mirijamdotter, Department of Informatics, Linnaeus University
Assistant supervisor: Associate professor Jaime Campos, Department of Informatics, Linnaeus University
Examiner: Senior professor Christina Mörtberg, Department of Informatics, Linnaeus University
Spikning: Friday 18 June at 2.00 pm at the university library in Växjö
The dissertation presents understandings of the complex, contextual, cooperative everyday work practices of academic library managers supported by computational artefacts, as well as challenges disrupting their practices and thereby computational artefacts usage. The doctoral research approaches and conceptualises managers’ work as ‘everyday cooperative practice’, in this way adopting the computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) approach. A focused-ethnographic study explores middle managers’ everyday cooperative work practices in two academic libraries, in Sweden and Australia, when using computational artefacts, including challenges experienced.
The empirical data was collected through participant observations and formal and informal face-to-face interviews, as well as organizational documents review. The thematically analysed empirical material was presented as vignettes to enable complementary contextual visualisation of managers’ practices. A conceptual framework incorporated CSCW main concepts, such as cooperative work, practice, computational artefacts, situated action, articulation work, awareness, and appropriation. Placed within a managerial environment and inspired by management theories such as sensemaking and soft systems thinking, this conceptualisation serves as a reference point to explicate the research findings and achieve the research aim, to advance the understanding of managers’ everyday cooperative work practices using computational artefacts.
The outcome of this dissertation illustrates the complex, contextualised, multidimensional and often diverse reality of academic library managers’ everyday cooperative work practices using computational artefacts, as well as emergent challenges that have implications for the use of computational artefacts and workplace practices. The interconnectedness of articulation work, awareness and appropriation, which emerged as a research outcome, vividly illustrates the interdependent and interrelated nature of managers’ everyday work. It extends the understanding of everyday cooperative work practices of academic library managers and provides rich analysis of their practical doing of managing and using of computational artefacts. Thus, this doctoral research generates contributions for the informatics field and, particularly, the computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) research and, modestly, for the management and library domains.