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There's No Place like Home: Managing Telecommuting Paradoxes

Keri E. Pearlson and Carol S. Saunders
The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005)
Vol. 15, No. 2, Theme: Positioning Organizations and People for Competitive Advantage (May, 2001), pp. 117-128
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165740
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
There's No Place like Home: Managing Telecommuting Paradoxes
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Abstract

Telecommuting has been around as a concept since the early 1970s. But the phenomenon has not caught on as fast as researchers projected, in part because of the inherent paradoxes associated with telecommuting. We explore three seemingly evident paradoxes of alternative work arrangements, particularly telecommuting: an increase in both structure and flexibility, a focus on both individuals and teamwork, and an increase and decrease in control. We view these paradoxes from a manager's perspective, and identify strategies for managing the paradoxes: accepting the paradox, clarifying the point of view, accounting for time, and using new perspectives. We apply these strategies to the three telecommuting paradoxes and illustrate them with examples of companies that use alternative work arrangements extensively. The article concludes with lessons for managing telecommuting arrangements.

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