Participation in groupware-mediated communities of practice: a socio-political analysis of knowledge working.
This paper adopts a communities of practice approach to examine how the introduction of a groupware application in a UK pharmaceuticals company enabled and constrained knowledge working. We will refine the analysis by distinguishing between participation that is undertaken in what is referred to as political enclaves, and participation that takes place in safe enclaves. We will discuss how the deliberate intervention of some employees moderated some of politicising, and facilitated increased participation. The paper concludes by suggesting ways in which existing theoretical conceptualisations of information systems and knowledge work may be expanded to consider socio-political issues in more depth.