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Fragmentation of work activity as a multi-dimensional construct and its association with ICT, employment and sociodemographic characteristics

By Bayarma Alexander, D.F. Ettema and M.J. Dijst


A potential effect of ICTs is that they alleviate the traditional space-time constraints of paid-work activities\ud and allow for the decomposition of work into multiple segments of sub-tasks, which can be performed at different times and/or locations. Such separation of activities into discrete pieces is commonly termed the\ud fragmentation of activity. Regrettably, only limited empirical evidence is available on the fragmentation of work activity and the factors that contribute to it. The goal of this paper is to extend the previous work\ud in the activity fragmentation arena in three ways: (i) to operationalize measures of spatial fragmentation and reformulate some of the temporal fragmentation measures for the specific purpose of investigating\ud the fragmentation of the work activity; (ii) to analyse fragmentation not only in terms of the individual indicators, but also as a multi-dimensional construct including all dimensions of spatial and temporal\ud fragmentation collectively; (iii) to test a detailed set of ICT-related, work-related, and sociodemographic variables to identify the factors that are crucial in the occurrence of the fragmentation of the work activity.\ud The study shows that there is heterogeneity in the fragmentation of work. Three internally homogeneous patterns of fragmentation, which diverge in the degree of fragmentation, are identified: (1) a\ud less temporally and spatially fragmented work pattern; (2) a less spatially and more temporally fragmented work pattern; (3) a more spatially and temporally fragmented work pattern. The multiple discriminant analysis suggests that ICT variables and work-related variables as well as personal-household attributes are associated with the fragmentation of work. However, the degree of association differs considerably among representative patterns of fragmentation

Topics: Sociale Geografie & Planologie, Work activity, Information and communication technology, Fragmentation, ICT
Year: 2010
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