An exploration of teleworker-manager work relationships in telework settings.

Harman, Kerry (2003) An exploration of teleworker-manager work relationships in telework settings. Masters thesis, University of New South Wales.

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Abstract

New forms of work organisation such as telework, and more recently virtual teams and network organisations, suggest that distance work relationships will become increasingly widespread in the future. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to theory development in this relatively new area of study. The focus of this thesis is on the exploration of teleworker – manager work relationships in telework settings. A framework for exploring work relationships in telework settings was developed from the organisational behaviour and telework literature. This framework guided the design of the study and the analysis of the interview data. Interviews were conducted with six teleworker – manager sets in four different organisations in Australia. Unique stories from each of the cases have been compiled from the perspective of the teleworker and the perspective of the manager. An analysis of each of the teleworker – manager work relationships was undertaken using the concepts from the framework. The findings from the analysis have been used to develop grounded theory on teleworker – manager work relationships in telework settings. The grounded theory proposes that when an employee commences telework that their work relationship with their manager shifts from an emphasis on performing and control behaviours (stage 1), to an emphasis on authority and autonomy behaviours (stage 2), and finally to an emphasis on commitment and support behaviours (stage 3). Of particular interest in this study is the notion of dual work systems; the newly established telework system and the existing work system of the employer organisation. In contrast to the existing domain of the employing organisation, the telework domain is established by the teleworker in a way that fits with their particular life circumstances. As a result, the teleworker and their manager operate two synchronous work relationships – the work relationship in the telework setting and the work relationship in the co-located setting. The dynamics found in the telework relationships in this study are related to the teleworker and their manager learning how to relate to each other within these dual work relationships.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas:Institute for Work Based Learning
ID Code:5575
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Deposited On:03 May 2011 10:36
Last Modified:19 Jul 2014 03:22

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