Let’s Look Outside the Office: Analytical Lens Unpacking Collaborative Relationships in Global Work
Springer International Publishing
Global software development (GSD) outsourcing setups are assumed to allow IT developers to work anywhere and anytime, removing the contextual contingencies of physical location. However, we challenge this assumed flexibility in our ethnographic study on GSD work as we unpack the nature of the collaborative work through the experiences and the concerns of the collaborators in Denmark and in India. We explore the difficulties in global work to understand how the everyday work practices in the global collaboration are enacted locally. The study shows how the dissimilarities in the local conditions for work are distinctly tied to the societal infrastructures outside the office, which also shape the work within the office. Reflecting on our analytical approach, we propose three analytical moves to investigate the nature of local contextual contingencies posed by the local infrastructures and impacting global work conditions. We argue that CSCW research on global work should include analytical considerations for how societal infrastructures at the different sites impact how work is accomplished locally in transnational encounters.