Department of Rhetoric & Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Writing

Clay Spinuzzi and international colleagues publishing coworking paper

Thu, March 1, 2018
Coworking spaces are shared working environments in which independent knowledge-workers gather to work alongside each other. Coworking has spread globally. Here in Austin, we have dozens of coworking spaces, including as Link CoworkingImpact Hub AustinCapital Factory,WeWork, and fibercove. These spaces supply month-to-month desk rentals so that freelancers, small business owners, consultants, and others can work in each others' presence. But beyond that, coworking spaces provide intangibles: community and collaboration.
 
But what does it mean, concretely, to supply "community" and "collaboration"? How do these work, and how do they interact with the business side of coworking spaces?
 
Clay Spinuzzi, professor of rhetoric and writing, has been studying coworking in Austin since 2008 and published one of the first articles on coworking in 2012. Recently he teamed up with colleagues—Zlatko Bodrožić (Leeds Business School), Giuseppe Scaratti (Economics, Catholic University of Milan), and Silvia Ivaldi (Sociology, Catholic University of Milan) to reexamine coworking in terms of community and collaboration. 
 
The resulting article, “'Coworking is about community' —but what is 'community' in coworking?", results from observations and interviews in three different countries: Italy, Serbia, and the United States. Based on these data, the authors offer a systematic analysis of community in coworking, characterizing six different coworking spaces and providing a typology that other researchers can use to better understand how specific coworking spaces work.
 
The article is tentatively slated to appear in the April 2019 (33.2) issue of the Journal of Business and Technical Communication.
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