Co-Configuration in Interaction Work

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


How to increase knowledge workers productivity is still a puzzle. While knowledge work has become increasingly virtual, collaborative and interactive, we still witness challenges in the area of productivity. We challenge the widespread perception of the causal relationship between high autonomy and high productivity in knowledge work and the fact that configuration and standardization for improving productivity is logical impossible. With a hermeneutical approach we describe and interpret “what is going on” in two different context of interaction knowledge work. Findings suggests that knowledge workers often feel caught in counter-productive practices with technology, due to the autonomous use of Interaction-IT and the challenge of configuring work. We witness different behaviors related to “the autonomy paradox” and we see something interesting happening, when introducing Interaction IT. While configuring work should lower autonomy and negatively influence productivity, we see the opposite. While increased autonomy should increase the productivity, we also see the opposite. We interpret the findings as a balance between autonomy-loss and productivity gain - and as such deliver new insight on the autonomy paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 38th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS 38)
Editorsannsi Ôörni, Netta Livari, Kari Kuutti, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen, Miko Rajanen
Number of pages14
VolumeIRIS 38
Place of PublicationOulu, Finland, 9 - 12 August
Publication dateAug 2015
Article number#37
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-62-0917-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
EventThe 38th Information Systems Research Conference in Scandinavia: System design for, with and by users - Oulu, Finland
Duration: 9 Aug 201512 Aug 2015
Conference number: 38


ConferenceThe 38th Information Systems Research Conference in Scandinavia
Internet address
SeriesProceedings / Information Systems Research In Scandinavia (IRIS)


  • autonomy
  • autonomy paradox
  • interaction workers
  • co-configuring
  • work-practices
  • Interaction IT
  • productivity


Dive into the research topics of 'Co-Configuration in Interaction Work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this