MARY SPRAGUE

Contributed Articles

Giving Voice to Print Production Facility Workers: Representing Actual Work Practices in the Streamlining of a Labor Intensive Production Print Job

NATHANIEL MARTIN, MARY ANN SPRAGUE, PATRICIA WALL and JENNIFER WATTS-PEROTTI This paper presents findings from an ethnographic study of digital production printing, with a focus on a complex, labor-intensive production print job. The goal of the study was to inform the development of tools, processes and technologies to improve the efficiency of this kind of job within the print production facility. By documenting how work was done from the perspective of the people who did the work, our study ensured that the voices and perspectives of the workers were formally represented in the process of improving and streamlining the tools and print production facility workflows....

Back to the Future of Work: Informing Corporate Renewal

JENNIFER WATTS-ENGLERT, MARGARET SZYMANSKI, PATRICIA WALL, MARY ANN SPRAGUE and BRINDA DALAL This paper describes the results of a multi-year ethnographic study of how knowledge workers integrate new technology into their work practices. We studied mobile and remote workers who use smartphones, tablets, cloud computing, and social networking to support their work. Study findings describe the characteristics of mobile work, the coordination of multiple devices and sources of information, how new technology functioned as a social resource and issues that arose when participants used personal mobile devices to support work. We will also discuss how we are working with corporate teams to renew our research projects, and the solutions and services the company offers to support the changing nature of work....

Pushing New Frontiers: Examining the Future of Paper and Electronic Documents

JENNIFER WATTS-PEROTTI, MARY ANN SPRAGUE, PATRICIA WALL and CATHERINE MCCORKINDALE Rapid socio-technological change is underway in the world of work. The Xerox Future of Work team conducted ethnographic studies to explore the impact of these changes on the use of paper, printing, and electronic documents. Study findings revealed needs and requirements for workers of the future, and influenced the research directions Xerox is undertaking to explore how documents (both paper and electronic) play a role in the world of work. The team used several techniques to encourage innovation within the company, including the creation of an advisory board, a video podcast and a design directions document. By developing growth spaces that often require new business models and business innovation, the project is a strong example of how ethnographic studies can “take CARE of business.” The project has also “taken care of BUSINESS” by lowering risk, driving innovation, and demonstrating the value that ethnographic studies can bring to the corporate...