Leslie Thomson, Mohammad H. Jarrahi
UNC Chapel Hill, United States of America

Sunday, November 8, 3:30pm

This paper presents preliminary findings from an in-depth, exploratory study aimed at gathering an understanding of mobile knowledge workers’ information practices, which are presumed distinct from those of non-mobile, stationary, centrally located workers. Its focus arises from a need to understand more, from an empirical standpoint, about the information practices of this increasingly visible yet understudied population. Semi-structured interviews with sixteen mobile knowledge workers suggest that this demographic hones distinct but intertwined practices around dealing with information. Five of these are discussed here; together, they compose a broader mobile knowledge work ‘deportment’ of sorts. Mobile knowledge workers also appear to use bottom-up technological infrastructures to mediate their information practices, ones that are enacted independently of any organization for which they may work. This is discussed as a ripe area for further research. This paper’s findings are relevant for advancing research around mobile knowledge work and information practices generally, and for organizations seeking to better support the work of their own mobile employees specifically.