A multi-level socio-technical systems telecommuting framework
Watson-Manheim, Mary Beth
Swan, Bret R.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
MetadataShow full item record
Telecommuting can help create organizational efficiencies and improve competitive advantage. It has been studied from a variety of perspectives, including that of transportation, management, psychology, and information systems. However, telecommuting literature, while abundant and diversified, often reports contradictory results, creating dilemmas for practice and research. Past researchers noting such conflicting findings often identify the lack of guiding theoretical bases as a key problem. In an attempt to explain the contradictory results found in prior research and in practice, we review telecommuting literature and expose conceptualization issues that need to be addressed in the development of a telecommuting research model: telecommuting as both a context and an aspect of work, as a multi-level concept, and as a timedependent concept. The proposed multi-level model, guided by socio-technical systems theory, illustrates the inter-relationships of telecommuting antecedents and outcomes across levels of analysis and over time. The research offers a number of important implications for future research, as well as for managers involved in or affected by telecommuting in their organizations.