Sub-theme 44: Connectivity and Mobility: Organizational Control Meets Disruptive Technologies [merged with sub-theme 52]

Darl G. Kolb
University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand
Kristine Dery
MIT Sloan School of Management, USA
Marleen Huysman
VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Call for Papers

Increasingly available and affordable connectivity is changing the way the world socially and economically engages. Great cities and cultures have always been based on exchange, but as we increasingly 'travel' and trade via information and communication technologies, connectivity is rapidly evolving and greatly affecting every layer and level of business and society. There is also a growing concern about the impact of too much connectivity on personal productivity and well being, i.e., the impact of near-constant connectivity on our ability to think and accomplish work tasks (Carr, 2010).

The aim of this sub-theme is to increase understanding of the organisational and sociomaterial (Orlikowski & Scott, 2008) opportunities associated with the implementation, adoption and use of digital technologies: for example how mobile technologies and ubiquitous networks provide work flexibility and productivity, how service exchanges increasingly shift into technology-enabled realms (Breidbach et al., 2013), and how distributed work has become 'normal' for many professionals and knowledge workers (Dery & MacCormick, 2011; MacCormick et al., 2012; Perlow, 2012).

Along with individual and team-level work studies, we are interested in papers that suggest and/or demonstrate how intra-organizational and inter-organizational connectivity can become a competitive advantage (DeMenezes & Kelliher, 2011) and/or how connectivity is helping organizations reimagine and reshape their business models for a digitally inter-connected era, including studies of social networking.

We welcome papers exploring the challenges and disruptions caused by emerging digital technologies in and between organisations and the general impact of hyper-connectivity on personal performance and well being (Dery & MacCormick, 2011; Richardson, 2009). Critical perspectives on 'constant connectivity' (Wajcman & Rose, 2011) are welcome, as well as new directions for research in the emerging field of connectivity studies (Kolb, 2008; Kolb et al., 2012). Best papers may be selected for a special issue of a journal, to be advised.

Contributions are therefore invited, but not restricted to:

  • Theorizing connectivity
  • Re-imagining the boundaries between work and non-work
  • Connectivity's impact on productivity
  • Disconnecting in a mobile, ubiquitously connected world
  • Social media as digital enabler and disruption for organizations
  • Digital disruptions to work/life, work space
  • Reimagining distributed organizing, leadership and virtual teaming



Breidbach, Christoph F., Darl G. Kolb & Ananth Srinivasan (2013): 'Connectivity in Service Systems: Does Technology-Enablement Impact the Ability of a Service System to Co-Create Value?' Journal of Service Research, 14 (January).
Carr, Nicholas (2010): The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember. London: Atlantic.
DeMenezes, Lilian M. & Clare Kelliher (2011): 'Flexible working and performance: A systematic review of the evidence for a business case.' International Journal of Management Reviews, 13 (4), pp. 452–474.
Dery, Kristine & Judi MacCormick (2011): Permission to disconnect: Lessons learned from a study of mobile connectivity in the financial services sector. Paper presented at the MIS Quarterly Executive Pre-ICIS Academy Workshop, Shanghai, China.
Kolb, Darl G. (2008): ' Exploring the Metaphor of Connectivity: Attributes, Dimensions and Duality.' Organization Studies, 29 (1), pp. 127–144.
Kolb, Darl G., Arran Caza & Paul D. Collins (2012): ' States of Connectivity: New Questions and New Directions.' Organization Studies, 33 (2), pp. 267–273.
MacCormick, Judith S., Kristine Dery & Darl G. Kolb (2012): 'Engaged or just connected? Smartphones and employee engagement.' Organizational Dynamics, 41 (3), 194-201.
Orlikowski, Wanda J. & Susan V. Scott (2008): 'Sociomateriality: Challenging the separation of technology, work and organization.' The Academy of Management Annals, 2 (1), pp. 433–474.
Perlow, Leslie A. (2012): Sleeping with Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Richardson, Julia (2009): 'Geographical flexibility – A cautionary note.' British Journal of Management, 20, pp. 160–170.
Wajcman, Judy & Emily Rose (2011): 'Constant Connectivity: Rethinking Interruptions at Work.' Organization Studies, 32 (7), pp. 941–961.


Darl G. Kolb is Professor of Connectivity in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand. He is a pioneering theorist in the area of socio-technical connectivity and has published articles on connectivity in 'Organization Studies', 'Organizational Dynamics', 'Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies' and the 'Journal of Service Research'.
Kristine Dery is research scientist at the Centre for Information Systems Research (CISR), MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, USA. Her research encompasses the human resource implications of information systems, i.e. how handheld devices are changing the way we organize work. In particular, she is interested in digital disruption, that is to say, how, when and why we disconnect.
Marleen Huysman is Professor at the KIN Research Group (, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she heads the Department of Information Systems, Logistics and Innovation Management. Her teaching, research projects and international publications focuses on information technology and organizational work practices, distributed work, social capital, management of knowledge and organizational learning.