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Picture Perfect? Exploring the use of smartphone photography in a distributed work practice

Pritchard, Katrina and Symon, Gillian (2014). Picture Perfect? Exploring the use of smartphone photography in a distributed work practice. Management Learning, 45(5) pp. 561–576.

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Our research extends debates regarding technology use for knowledge sharing through examining how smartphone photography mediates a complex, unpredictable distributed work practice: responding to operational problems within a transport system. We offer a narrative analysis examining how smartphone photography may (partially) bridge physical distance between managers and engineers, and how sharing images establishes ‘truths’ and provides ‘evidence’. We further explore the challenges engineers’ face as the demand for images impacts the acceptance of their verbal accounts. We conclude that smartphone photography prompts the negotiation of new narratives of knowledge sharing, narratives which highlight tensions around the role and status of the digital image. With the increasing availability of smartphones at work, and an emerging interest in the visual in organizational studies, this research offers both practical and theoretical insights.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 The Authors
ISSN: 1461-7307
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Implications of Blackberries for communication and information sharing in an engineering firmSG-54143British Academy
Keywords: communication; distributed work; organisational knowledge; smartphone
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 40802
Depositing User: Katrina Pritchard
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2014 09:30
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 21:59
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