Satellitkontor : en studie av kommunikationsmönster vid arbete på distans

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to bring forward the relevant theories to describe and analyse the area of remote work. Based upon these theories, the experiences of satellite work centres is analysed. In this context, satellite work centre means a part of a company department which has been geographically separated from the rest of the department and where normal departmental functions are carried out at a distance from the company headquarters. The geographic separation requires that communication between the different work places by and large must be done with help of information technology. Three companies participated in the study.Satellite work centres can be studied from several perspectives. A selection of theories from the area of organisation is presented to illustrate organisational development and to describe organisational structure. Furthermore, examples are given of the interplay between technological development and changes in the company’s business. Several different definitions of remote work are presented. In literature which deals with working remotely, no distinction is made amongst the experiences of different organisational forms of remote work. Previous experiences with remote work are used in this study as examples of satellite work centres. The prerequisites for communication are central to the ability to carry out remote work. The description of communication patterns, both within and between the operational units in the companies, is therefore given heavy treatment. Data have been collected with help of a communication diary. The analysis builds upon theories of communication and organisational communication, which deal with information requirements, the function of communication, communications patterns, choice of communication medium, and so forth.As part of the study’s results, several factors are discussed which should be taken into consideration by a company in order for remote work in satellite work centres to function properly. These considerations are such things as the content of the job, dissemination of information and social contact. The results can also be found in a description of the communications patterns in the study groups. The kinds of information needed is by and large simple and can for the most part be spread through computerised information systems, The most used form of communication is the telephone, but telefax and electronic mail also play a role. Three functions of communication are studied. The command function, giving instructions about tasks to be done, was responsible for a relatively small amount of the total communication. the ambiquity management function, dissemination of information to reduce insecurity, was responsible for a large portion of the information flow, both between and within organisational units. The relational function, maintaining social contact, was also a significant portion of the communication. Despite geographic distance, the prerequisites for communication between those at the corporate headquarters and those at the satellite work centres is much the same as for communication within the corporate headquarters itself.

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