Space as a Mechanism of Organizational Control in Collaborative Work Settings

Ari Kuismin, Johanna Moisander

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we set out to explore and better understand how organizational space operates as a dynamic mechanism of organizational control in the context of collaborative work. Building a sociomaterial perspective on space as a mechanism of organizational control, we theorize the relationship between organizational space and control as entangled, i.e. mutually reinforcing and intensifying. Based on an ethnographic case study of a collaborative workspace and network of early-stage entrepreneurs, we show how spatial practices of the collaborative workspace operate as control by mobilizing and authorizing the early-stage entrepreneurs as a community, and by empowering and facilitating them to develop their entrepreneurial projects. The study contributes to (1) the studies on organizational space by illustrating how space functions as a mechanism of organizational control through situated practices; (2) the literature on organizational control by demonstrating how sociomaterial conceptualization of control allows better understanding about the various constitutive aspects of control; and (3) research on work transformations by elaborating on the materiality and spatiality of new work practices and workplaces. Keywords: organizational control, space, practices
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible


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