Moving to get aHead: Local Mobility and Collaborative Work
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Local mobility is a central aspect of collaborative work that is in need of close analysis. Between the face-to-face interaction of offices or control rooms and longdistance interaction facilitated through e.g. telephones, e-mail, the www or teleconferences lie a number of work-settings in which actors move about continuously in order to accomplish their work. They do so because they need to get access to knowledge, resources, persons and/or places. We analyze the integral nature of mobility to this kind of work practice from the ethnographic description of a hospital department, and the challenges that actors have to face to accomplish their work. Based on this ethnographic case, we propose a set of concepts for understanding local mobility as an intermediate field of distributed cooperation between centres of coordination and remote collaboration. Finally, we introduce the concept of ‘mobility work’ as complementary to the concept of ‘articulation work’.