Affiliated Organization

Case Western Reserve University, USA


The widening application of information and communication technology (ICT) in organizations alters the temporal and spatial circumstances under which work groups operate. Yet, time and space have not been major foci in the past work group research. Though temporal and spatial dispersion have been widely recognized in studies of work groups interacting with ICT, only few attempts have been made to examine the implications of changed operating logics of time and space as enabled by ICT. In this paper, we address this void. Specifically, we argue that, in addition to temporal and spatial dispersion, ICT in general, and mobile technology in particular, erect novel aspects of time (i.e., instantaneity and simultaneity) and space (i.e., independence from fixed places and fluidity of context), which enables novel forms of time-space configurations (i.e., multi-presence) that need to be carefully explored. We conceive that time and space can act both in independent and dependent variable roles in work group research. Moreover, we consider both the structural (objective) and experienced (interpretive) aspects of time and space as induced by ICT. Using these classifications we identify four major research challenges in time and space research related to ICT use in groups. To this end the paper suggests nine specific research questions that need to be engendered in future research on ICT use within work groups.