The rise of new ways of working through the use of information and communication technology brings about new phenomena that are powerful in the effects that they have on people. The potency of phenomenology lies in its philosophical simplicity and it provides the researcher with the ability to study the essence of an observable but scarcely understood phenomena: How do people perform effectively and efficiently in a geographically and temporally dispersed work environment? Collective action across multiple time zones continues to challenge both academics and practioners. This study provides a unique view of how globally dispersed participants achieve collective action. It throws light into how the creation of shared understanding is tempered by differences in time zones and how participants adapt through their choice of media, work practices and communication. Following an analysis of a case studied using phenomenology, this paper concludes with a model of adaptation in polycontextual work environments.

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ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Fenema, P.C, & Qureshi, S. (2004). A Phenomenological Exploration of Adaptation in a Polycontextual Work Environment (No. ERS-2004-061-LIS). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from