Computing and Information Systems - Theses

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    The case for mobile trajectory – a practical 'theory' for mobile work
    This thesis progressively evolves and presents a practical 'theory' for mobile work – mobile trajectory – through three case studies conducted using fieldwork. The three cases presented here examine tram travellers finding their way around a city centre (Case A), health care workers looking after people with mental illness in a residential setting (Case B) and mobile clinicians caring for young people with mental illness in a community setting (Case C). My concern is to develop a 'theory' for mobile work that is both practical and theoretical,; at once supporting the practical action of completing field and analytic work while abstracting away from the ordinary affairs of society. The contribution of this ‘theory’ is to synthesise ideas from the domain of studies of ICTs mobile work to support description, rhetoric, inference and application for mobile work. This 'theory' has particular COMPONENTS, FEATURES, PROPERTIES, CONCERNS and ASSOCIATED NOTIONS. A mobile trajectory has a CORE TRAJECTORY that involves particular work: the CORE WORK. There are ALIGNED TRAJECTORIES that feed the CORE TRAJECTORY. These are part of the CORE TRAJECTORY. The FEATURES of mobile trajectory are CYCLES, TRANSITIONS, TRAVERSALS, STREAMS, SCHEMES, POSSIBILITIES, HISTORICITY and SHAPE. The PROPERTIES are PHYSICALITY, LOCALITY, INSTRUMENTALITY, SYNCHRONICITY, INTER- DEPENDENCY, PREDICTABILITY and PALPABILITY. Important CONCERNS are RECONCILIATION CONCERNS, ALIGNMNENT CONCERNS, RECIPROCAL CONCERNS and CONTINGENCY CONCERNS. Key ASSOCIATED NOTIONS are SOCIAL SPHERES with particular WORLDS and SUB-WORLDS comprising MEMBERS with particular ROLES and INVOLVEMENT. SOCIAL SPHERES have particular BOUNDARIES, RESOURCES and MEDIA and shared KNOWLEDGE and PRACTICES. MEDIA and RESOURCES have particular AVAILABILITY and MUTABILITY. MEMBERS have particular BIOGRAPHIES, TIES and OBLIGATIONS and AWARENESS of others. Through the case material presented I demonstrate how this 'theory' supports the work of describing and discussing mobile work for the purpose of conceptualising, selecting, recommending and critically evaluating everyday Information and Communication Technologies. At the end of the thesis I compare mobile trajectory to three alternative approaches and two alternative theories with regard to supporting the same kind of work.