Exploring Organization through Contributions: using Activity Theory for the Study of Contemporary Digital Labour Practices

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Rozas, David and Huckle, Steven (2021) Exploring Organization through Contributions: using Activity Theory for the Study of Contemporary Digital Labour Practices. In Research Methods for Digital Work and Organization: Investigating distributed, multi-modal and mobile work. Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 187-209. ISBN 9780198860686

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on peer-production as a form of collaborative digital work, closely allied to crowdsourcing and other contemporary working practices that are mediated by digital platforms. Such platforms are a growing form of digital work; however, they raise complex methodological issues. First, although often a single collaborative platform coordinates groups, work can be distributed globally. Second, multimodal approaches require the researcher to transition between online and offline media. Finally, it can be challenging to identify what is ‘work’ as activity boundaries are blurred. It is argued that the use of Activity Theory overcomes some of these issues and its utility in an analysis of the production of the open source software, Drupal, is demonstrated, highlighting the potential for Activity Theory to enable cross-contextual comparisons and proposing the concept of ‘socio-technical systems of contribution’ as a way to understand interactions between networks of collaboration. The limitations of the approach and potential future developments are noted.


Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Activity Theory, Commons-Based Peer Production, Collaborative Economy Digital Labour, Drupal, Free/Libre Open Source Software, Platform Economy
Subjects:Sciences > Computer science
Social sciences > Sociology
Social sciences > Information science
ID Code:68410
Deposited On:18 Nov 2021 10:49
Last Modified:18 Nov 2021 10:49

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