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Exploring enterprise mobility: lessons from the field

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The mobile phone has received global attention primarily as a personal consumer technology. However, we believe that mobile information technology in general will play a significant role in organisational efforts to innovate current practices and have significant economic impact. Enterprise mobility signals new ways of managing how people work together using mobile information technology and will form an integral part of the efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of information work. This belief is, however, not reflected in the current selection of books and collections exploring the issue of enterprise mobility. The aim of this paper is to highlight some of the key challenges in the application of mobile information technology to improve organisational efficiency. This is accomplished through comparing and contrasting findings from a selection of 11 empirical studies of enterprise mobility with information technology conducted between 2001 and 2007. The paper argues that the debate so far has largely failed to embed glowing accounts for technological potential in a sound discussion of organisational realities. In particular, there has been a lack of balanced accounts of the implicit and explicit trade-offs involved in mobilising the interaction between members of the workforce.

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