IT-enabled performative spaces in gender segregated work

Alotaibi, Amal (2015) IT-enabled performative spaces in gender segregated work. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the use of ICT in Saudi Arabia to support collaboration between segregated genders. It attempts to understand the emerging technology practices of workers in higher education institutions, which are aimed at bridging the culturally imposed spatial divide between men and women in the workplace. In examining the gender-segregated context, the study also looks into the consequent organisational and structural changes resulting from technology use. This includes evaluating new practices in terms of progressive change, and how this specifically relates to the work experiences of women as a subordinated and marginalised group.

Furthermore, the study uses the Saudi context as a vehicle to explore IS discussions regarding the human and material/technical aspects of agency in technology use, and the role attributed to each in theoretical perspectives on organisation. Prior research has extended Giddens' (1984) structuration theory to incorporate material agency as part of a social-technical ensemble. Yet the ways in which physical-digital spaces contextualise interactions and structure work practices are under explored. Thus, the study develops a conceptual model that extends concepts of 'locale' and 'regionalisation' from structuration theory to the IS field, and defines 'technical settings of interaction' constituted by human and material agencies.

The research presented in this study uses a single case design, and collects data by conducting interviews and non-participant observation at Umm AI-Qura University (UQU) in Makkah. The case of gender segregated work in Saudi is used to illustrate the performativity of digital spaces, and demonstrates how workers use technical configurations of ICTs to create zones of interaction that can challenge existing cultural norms, or hinder progressive change. Finally, the study finds that attending to Giddens' focus on time-space not only adds an additional level of analysis to technology studies, but also shows the potential of structurational research in contributing to sociomaterial discussions on materiality.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Kuk, G.
Wastell, D.
Keywords: Work environment, Saudi Arabia, Business enterprises, Technological innovations, Sex role in the work environment, Saudi Arabia
Subjects: H Social sciences > HG Finance
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 43370
Depositing User: Airey, Ms Valerie
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 14:09
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 00:17
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/43370

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