Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Timothy Kuhn

Second Advisor

Matthew Koschmann

Third Advisor

Jody Jahn

Abstract

With recent economic changes, and the increasing complexity of individual, organizational, and social problems, collaboration has emerged as a promising avenue for developing innovative solutions and services. This thesis investigates the imbrication of social and material agencies in promoting and enabling collaboration in new forms of work. Findings indicate that existing conceptualizations of collaboration do not capture the manner in which modern work produces fluid and contingent organizational practices, and should thus be extended to include collaborative practices that do not follow conventional processes with start, middle, and end components. I also propose an alternate representation of the imbrication metaphor, which prompts researchers to consider more deeply the complex and interconnected nature of social and material agencies.

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