John Bakke With distributed work force there is a fear that the workplace will become less cohesive and fragment. There is a distinct difference between habitual ad hoc work groups and consistent cooperative work groups. The study sample came from the combination of two Nordic shipping companies where there were employees in Norway and Denmark. The questionnaires were e-mail based as well as some personal interviews.
Most frequently workers named other close workers as collaborators. They did not list family or friends denoting a distinct division between work and social / familial relationships. The network diagrams showed three kinds of workers - Boundary Spanners and Close Collaborators, and the Old Friends Network. Boundary Spanners had wide and shallow network ties. Close Collaborators had networks consisting of co-located coworkers, and Old Friends were people who were once co-located and have moved on but still rely on the network of old friends to get jobs and activities done.