Collaborative encounters in innovative workspaces

High tech software companies (HTSC) are among the most progressive actors in maintaining innovative and productive working environments, since the pressure of competition is very high with software technologies. By hosting gaming, formal and informal meetings, and leisure and collaborative activities, they offer new and varied interactional workplace settings. Having business models based on software functionality, they compete on height of innovation while employing globally available technologies to build their products. As an integral part of the formal organizational structure of HTSC, collaborative sprint meetings are a prime location for observing workplace interaction since task oriented collaboration is coordinated, designed, assigned, assessed, and accomplished here. To illustrate the affordances these workspaces provide, my research will employ multimodal conversation analysis through an investigation into participants’ emergent accomplishments of collaborative activities in naturally occurring interaction. The purpose is to explore how the professional, interactional, material, and spatial settings of the workplace contribute to the innovation process, creativity, and eventually to the production of new technologies in HTSC.

Keywords: workplace interaction, meeting talk, software development, innovation, scrum, task accomplishment, multimodality, conversation analysis.