ABSTRACT

Distributed work has become commonplace in many organisations. Co-workers may be spread around the world, perhaps never meeting face-to-face. Networked communication technologies are being used to support new ways of working in increasingly global organisations. However, working at a distance has significant impacts on the coordination of tasks, the formation of relationships among colleagues and professional learning. The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of how distributed work changes organisational processes and then to outline how those changes may affect organisational and individual learning in the workplace. This has been an active area of research for nearly thirty years in fields like human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, organisation science and computer-supported collaborative learning. Providing a full review of the literature is beyond the scope of this chapter. Instead, this chapter provides a high-level synthesis of findings in the research, with links to foundational and major works in the area.