Guest lecture: Social-Material Relationships: A Study of Space and Activity in Managing Tensions
Professors Linda L. Putnam and Anu Sivunen give a lecture.
Venue: Runeberginkatu 14–16, Helsinki, A-wing, 4th floor, classroom A–401
This study adopts a dialectical perspective on the relationship between the social and the material to examine how space and activity interplay in a Nordic design company with an activity-based work system. A dialectical view departs from traditional socio-material approaches by treating this relationship as nested in tensions, particular ones that represent a struggle between order and disorder. In this study, actors’ responses to tensions and sub-tensions between spontaneous versus scheduled meetings, predictable versus unpredictable locations, and adjustable versus static spaces created a unique form of flexible workspace design in which organizational actors shifted boundaries and practices through forging order out of disorder.
LINDA L. PUTNAM (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is a Distinguished Research Professor and Emeritus in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include paradoxes and contradictions in organizations, organizational discourse analysis, and gender. She is the co-editor of thirteen books, including Applying Moran’s Metaphors: Theory, Research, and Practice in Organizational Studies (2017), The SAGE Handbook of Organizational Communication (2014), and Building Theories of Organization: The Constitutive Role of Communication (2009). She has published over 180 articles and book chapters in organizational communication and management. She is a distinguished scholar of the National Communication Association, a fellow of the International Communication Association and the International Association for Conflict Management, and the recipient of life-time achievement awards from the International Association for Conflict Management and Management Communication Quarterly. She was a Visiting Distinguished Scholar at Aalto University School of Business in 2016.
ANU SIVUNEN (Ph.D., University of Jyväskylä), is a Professor in the Department of Language and Communication Studies at University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research focuses on mediated communication processes in global virtual teams and in flexible work arrangements, workspaces, as well as the affordances of new technologies, such as 3D virtual environments and enterprise social media. She was a visiting scholar in the Department of Communication at University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2015-2016, and at Stanford University, in 2009-2010. Her work has appeared in publications from a variety of disciplines such as Small Group Research, Human Resource Management Review, Journal of Communication and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.