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Telecommuting, professional isolation, and employee development in public and private organizations

Telecommuting, professional isolation, and employee development in public and private organizations This study employs a grounded theory methodology to compare the impact telecommuting has on public and private employees perceptions of professional isolation. It relied on 93 semi‐structured interviews with telecommuters, non‐telecommuters, and their respective supervisors in two high technology firms and two city governments. These organizations had active telecommuting programmes and a strong interest in making telecommuting a successful work option, providing an opportunity to investigate the challenges of telecommuting that existed even within friendly environments. The interviews demonstrated that professional isolation of telecommuters is inextricably linked to employee development activities (interpersonal networking, informal learning, and mentoring). The extent to which telecommuters experience professional isolation depends upon the extent to which these activities are valued in the workplace and the degree to which telecommuters miss these opportunities. Public respondents appeared to value these informal developmental activities less than private employees. Therefore, we stipulate that telecommuting is less likely to hinder the professional development of public sector employees than that of employees in the private sector. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Behavior Wiley

Telecommuting, professional isolation, and employee development in public and private organizations

Journal of Organizational Behavior , Volume 23 (4) – Jun 1, 2002

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References (57)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
0894-3796
eISSN
1099-1379
DOI
10.1002/job.145
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study employs a grounded theory methodology to compare the impact telecommuting has on public and private employees perceptions of professional isolation. It relied on 93 semi‐structured interviews with telecommuters, non‐telecommuters, and their respective supervisors in two high technology firms and two city governments. These organizations had active telecommuting programmes and a strong interest in making telecommuting a successful work option, providing an opportunity to investigate the challenges of telecommuting that existed even within friendly environments. The interviews demonstrated that professional isolation of telecommuters is inextricably linked to employee development activities (interpersonal networking, informal learning, and mentoring). The extent to which telecommuters experience professional isolation depends upon the extent to which these activities are valued in the workplace and the degree to which telecommuters miss these opportunities. Public respondents appeared to value these informal developmental activities less than private employees. Therefore, we stipulate that telecommuting is less likely to hinder the professional development of public sector employees than that of employees in the private sector. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Journal of Organizational BehaviorWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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