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‘Mental mobility’ in the digital age: entrepreneurs and the online home-based business

DiDomenico, MariaLaura; Daniel, Elizabeth and Nunan, Daniel (2014). ‘Mental mobility’ in the digital age: entrepreneurs and the online home-based business. New Technology, Work and Employment, 29(3) pp. 266–281.

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Home-based online business ventures are an increasingly pervasive, yet under-researched phenomenon. The experiences and mindset of entrepreneurs setting-up and running such enterprises requires better understanding. Using data from a qualitative study of twenty-three online home-based business entrepreneurs, we propose the augmented concept of ‘mental mobility’ to encapsulate how they approach their business activities. Drawing on Howard P. Becker’s early theorizing of mobility, together with Victor Turner’s later notion of liminality, we conceptualize ‘mental mobility’ as the process through which individuals navigate the liminal spaces between the physical and digital spheres of work, and the overlapping home/workplace, enabling them to manipulate and partially reconcile the spatial, temporal and emotional tensions that are present in such work environments. Our research also holds important applications for alternative employment contexts and broader social orderings due to the increasingly pervasive and disruptive influence of technology on experiences of remunerated work.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN: 1468-005X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
The Open UniversityNot SetThe Open University (OU)
Keywords: digital entrepreneur; home working; home-based business; liminality; mental mobility; non-standard work; self-employed; work–life balance
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for Strategy and Marketing
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 44588
Depositing User: Elizabeth Daniel
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 08:26
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 16:49
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