“It's Not the Way We Do Things Here”: The Meaning of Organisational Place When Work Goes on the Move
Drawing on ethnographic ‘work along’ interviews with ambulance crews and ambulance control centre staff, the data is interrogated to elucidate these highly mobile working practices, specifically drawing out practices and technologies that bond work to places or organisations. Through focussing on the actual activities of paramedics as they are engaged in their work, the analysis describes the spaces in which this work takes place and the ways in which the work remains tethered to organisational bases and centres of control.
Modes of ordering, exposed through the institutional ethnography, are unpacked to reveal how mobile work practices are based upon existing and continuously redefined organisational arrangements that are carried and embodied by mobile workers. I argue that tacit processes of knowing and belonging cement mobile work practices. In order to maintain organisational identity during ever changing locations of mobile work, as typified by ambulance work, workers are required to continually perform, embody and represent material, social and technical connections and ties. These performances of order, through ordering, enable (and shape) the work that is subsequently done.