Telework: the experiences of teleworkers, their non-teleworking colleagues and their line managers at the Conseil General du Finistere

Lewis, Robert A. (2012) Telework: the experiences of teleworkers, their non-teleworking colleagues and their line managers at the Conseil General du Finistere. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

The introduction of information technology, or IT, has brought increased possibilities to work outside of the traditional office. One of these possibilities is telework. Telework refers to work carried out away from the usual place of business, often via electronic means. This investigation provides a unique contribution to the lack of empirical studies on telework in France. Despite its predicted growth, telework has not developed in the French public sector. This study uses role set analysis to assess the experiences of part-time teleworkers (who telework on average two days per week as part of their full-time schedules) at the Conseil Général du Finistère, or CGF, a regional government in Brittany, France. Role set analysis claims that the expectations of role set holders can be evaluated. In this exploratory case study, role set holders are represented by teleworkers, their non-teleworking colleagues and their line managers. Questionnaires, containing attitude scales and open-ended questions, were distributed in three versions to each group of role set holders to gather data. The use of frequency tables and the extraction of Meaning Units, or MUs, indicated perceived advantages and disadvantages of telework, which were revealed through the lenses of role expectations. Teleworkers experienced more advantages due to role complexity: temporal and spatial flexibility were beneficial to teleworkers, despite increased difficulties for non-teleworking colleagues and line managers. Non-teleworkers experienced more disadvantages due to increased role expectations: working with part-time teleworkers generated increased logistical and co-ordination difficulties. Line managers experienced more disadvantages due to multiplied role expectations: managing teleworkers and non-teleworkers in the same departments meant increased burdens in terms of work organisation, control and resentment from non-teleworkers. From an academic viewpoint, the analysis of role sets through a tripartite perspective brings to light thresholds which regulate perceived advantages and disadvantages of telework and reveals that role set holders do not interact in a static fashion. In terms of business practice, the findings argue that telework upsets work relationships in the French context because it relies on less face-to-face contact. Results also suggest that despite the perceived success of the telework programme, the CGF has not adopted a remote working culture.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Nichol, Lynnlnichol@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Ward, Philippapward@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information: Doctorate in Business Administration
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human resource management; telework; public sector; France
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 06 May 2014 12:40
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2017 16:46
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/633

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