Getting the Job Done: Workarounds in Complex Digital Infrastructures

Sara Willermark, Anna Sigridur Islind*, Helena Vallo Hult, Livia Norström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Work today consists of complex arrangements of loosely interrelated digital tools that shape work and form digital infrastructures. These digital infrastructures can either support or hinder the workers in their daily tasks. Working in an environment where some digital tools are designed for work purposes, and others without the proposed end-users in mind creates a need for improvisation. The consequence for workers may include finding various types of workarounds when shifting between digital tools. These workarounds become important for how work is performed. Through a multiple case study, this paper explores how workarounds are manifested in different work settings through four cases in the public sector. We conceptualize workarounds as practices of flexibility, efficiency, and responsibility, and show how workarounds result in new and innovative ways of working, which can be understood as a form of infrastructuring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Digital Resilience - Challenges for People and Organizations
EditorsRoberta Cuel, Diego Ponte, Francesco Virili
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783031109010
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event18th Annual Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS, ItAIS 2021 - Trento, Italy
Duration: 15 Oct 202116 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation
Volume57 LNISO
ISSN (Print)2195-4968
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4976


Conference18th Annual Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS, ItAIS 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Other keywords

  • Digital infrastructures
  • Digital tools
  • Digital work
  • Infrastructuring
  • Innovation
  • Public sector
  • Workarounds


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