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TU Berlin

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TransSoft: Collaborative Technologies and Practices in Projects of Transnational Software-Development

DFG-Projekt, geförderte Laufzeit: 01.02.2013 – 29.02.2016



In the face of growing transnationalisation of work, collaboration within transnational distributed work collaboration becomes an increasingly relevant scientific and societal topic. In the digital age, collaboration within spatially distributed work arrangements always is structured by technology. Previous social science research has paid little attention to this, since it has been primarily focused on consequences of transnational work on working conditions, work patterns, and qualification requirements. The research project addresses this research gap by studying the interaction between the technically structured procedures of collaboration in transnational teams and the team members’ profession-, organization-, and culture-specific work practices. Aim of the research project is to empirically explore the technical institutionalization of collaboration structures of transnational work. The term technical institutionalization serves to describe an interrelation between two different objectifications of work structures and working procedures: their objectification as technical standards and algorithms of the tools used to support collaborative work, and their objectification in form of corresponding practices of collaborative work. Transnational projects of software-development constitute the empirical domain for the research. Outsourcing and offshoring – options made much easier to realize by the existing information infrastructure – are used in particular for ework (or telework). Within the field of ework IT-services more than other tasks are subject to outsourcing and offshoring. The most important kind of IT-services for outsourcing and offshoring are tasks of software-development. This makes transnational projects of software-development an empirical field especially suited for research on transnational work collaboration.

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