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Modelling and testing the definitions of teleworking within a local council environment

Haq, Khawaja Al-Musavar-Ul (2014) Modelling and testing the definitions of teleworking within a local council environment. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

Teleworking was defined in terms of comprehension: root definition, conceptual definition and abstraction definition. The definitions were subsequently modelled in terms of four theories: socio-factors of teleworking (model 1 of 4), maturity model of teleworking (model 2 of 4), technical factors of teleworking (model 3 of 4) and taxonomy of teleworking (model 4 of 4). The modelling of the definitions of teleworking as stated adds further comprehension to the concept of teleworking.

Teleworking is a socio and technical working practice and so, the research study turned to the socio aspect: there were a number of socio-factors (minor and major) identified as per existing literature. Subsequently, major socio-factors were mapped to a teleworking maturity model in terms of layers, resource, policy and connectivity. The technical aspect of the research study was able to identify and divide factors into dimensions, attributes and organisational roles. The three models (socio, technical and maturity) were brought together in terms of taxonomy of teleworking: an amalgamation of the socio and technical factors of teleworking in addition to three layers of a maturity model.

The research methodology followed a positivist viewpoint with socio-factors measured using 7-point Likert scales. There were a large number of measures for socio-teleworking and so two research methods were adopted to reduce the number to a manageable amount namely: initial questionnaire design and Q-sort study. Following exclusions, a web-based survey was created with the remaining socio-measures of teleworking.

The web-based survey was conducted in terms of a pilot study (at councils in the north of England) before surveying 264 employees at Council-Z (the primary study). Data collected from Council-Z was analysed in terms of confirmatory factor analysis. Theoretical models (factor structures) were created in terms of resource, policy and connectivity. The factor structures of each stated layer were tested for consistency to data.

Four factor structures of resource were identified, A, B, C and D. Factor structure D showed the highest level of convergence of theory to observed data that is, the best-fitting model. Six factor structures of policy were identified, with factor structure C2 the most favourable in terms of exclusion of ambiguities and model-fit statistics. Three factor structures of connectivity were identified and for each of the absolute and incremental fit statistics factor structure B was consistently within the cut-off values for good model-fit, factor structure B was also the best fitting model.

In terms of the utility of the study, definitions of teleworking and the modelling of the definitions have improved understanding of the research area. The extensive number of factors of teleworking identified through the theoretical modelling process and the measurements of these have demonstrated improved measurement techniques. The best-fitting models as per the confirmatory factor analyses have broad applicability to other similar organisations, and finally the data from the three best-fitting models can be utilised by Council-Z to introduce informed teleworking initiatives.

In terms of limitations and future work, technical factors were out of scope in this research study. Hence, types of teleworking practices linked to technical factors of teleworking would be future work as would studies of the linkage between the socio-and technical factors. In terms of the taxonomical model empirical validation would be sought of each of the seven major socio-factors in terms of factor structures. This study empirically tested for each of the three layers of the maturity model, as opposed to each of the major socio-factors within the three layers. Furthermore, additional factors may be identifiable through future work, adding to the taxonomy and in turn, the comprehension of teleworking would be enhanced alongside further standardisation of teleworking definitions and measurements.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 11:26
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 21:36
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/23688

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