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Constructing continuity across the organisational culture boundary in a highly virtual work environment

Journal article
Authors Aleksandre Asatiani
Julia Hämäläinen
Esko Penttinen
Matti Rossi
Published in Information Systems Journal
ISSN 1350-1917
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Links https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...
Keywords action design research, boundaries, organisational culture, organisational discontinuity theory, ODT, socialisation, virtual work environment, VWE
Subject categories Business Administration, Information Systems

Abstract

While remote work allows organisations to offer their employees flexibility and harness global talent and markets for business growth, inability to rely on physical interactions between employees imposes challenges specific to operations in highly virtual work environments. Among these characteristic issues are challenges associated with organisational socialisation and organisational culture. Accordingly, an action design research project was carried out for building a socialisation substitute (an information artefact in the form of a digital organisational culture handbook) to support synthesis of symbolic and pragmatic components of organisational culture at case company Smartly.io, a highly virtual organisation experiencing rapid growth. The paper contributes to the literature on socialisation and organisational culture by demonstrating one approach to designing a surrogate for socialisation that acts as a conduit between the symbolic aspects of organisational culture (such as values) and the pragmatic ones (such as toolkits). The work contributes to organisational discontinuity theory also, via theory‐generating descriptive analysis of the process of building continuity across the organisational culture boundary through creation of an information artefact. The resulting artefact was found to deliver practical utility to the case company and encapsulate generalisable design principles for this building process.

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