Relation work in collocated and distributed collaboration

Lars Rune Christensen, Rasmus Eskild Jensen, Pernille Bjørn

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


Creating social ties are important for collaborative work; however, in geographically distributed organizations e.g. global software development, making social ties requires extra work: Relation work. We find that characteristics of relation work as based upon shared history and experiences, emergent in personal and often humorous situations. Relation work is intertwined with other activities such as articulation work and it is rhythmic by following the work patterns of the participants. By comparing how relation work is conducted in collocated and geographically distributed settings we in this paper identify basic differences in relation work. Whereas collocated relation work is spontaneous, place-centric, and yet mobile, relation work in a distributed setting is semi-spontaneous, technology-mediated, and requires extra efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOOP 2014 - Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems
EditorsChiara Rossitto
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-06497-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-06498-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event11th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems - Nice, France
Duration: 27 May 201430 May 2014
Conference number: 11


Conference11th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems
Internet address


  • Social ties
  • Collaborative work
  • Relation work
  • Global software development
  • Geographically distributed organizations


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