What is it about?

In contrast to common assertions, distributed work is not always an outcome of technological advancement or a proactive choice blessed by management, but often a necessity dictated by the competition or customers. In the case companies analyzed in the present study, a distributed organizational structure was recognized as a necessary compromise, although the associated costs gave cause for some concern. Rather than virtual cooperation, the knowledge workers interviewed valued opportunities for face‐to‐face interaction and informal contact and networking. Nonetheless the benefits of distributed work were thought to outweigh its potential costs.

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Why is it important?

This paper aims to serve as a reminder that all work arrangements, including the present case of distributed work, have their costs and benefits. Regionally distributed work involves many similar problems as traditional telework from home. To avoid potential risks, partial work distribution is advisable to most organizations.


I hope this article makes it easier to assess critically the costs and benefits in distributed work.

Pasi Pyöriä
Tampereen yliopisto

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Virtual collaboration in knowledge work: from vision to reality, Team Performance Management, October 2009, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/13527590911002140.
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