Coworking hybrid activities between plural objects and sharing thickness

Silvia Ivaldi, Giuseppe Scaratti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we explain that coworking today represents a new form of work and organization involving different organizational configurations and processes of sharing. This is significant because coworking is expanding all over the world and is affecting the way in which professionals relate with their work. Reflecting on the characteristics and functioning of this phenomenon permits also to understand how work, organizations, and management have been (positively and negatively) changing over the years. Through the presentation of an extensive qualitative study realized in Italy, we discuss the collective and collaborative endeavor of coworking that is characterized by multiple and often contrasting manifestations. The paper focuses on the concept of sharing, referring to its theoretical foundation and pointing out the multifaceted articulation (sharing thickness) of its application in coworking. We adopt the activity theory approach to describe and figure out the main relevant features of coworking and its dynamic evolution. A qualitative empirical study is presented seeking for the identification of a typology of coworking based on the analysis of the object in its current state. For the analysis, 24 qualitative interviews were conducted with founders of coworking spaces. The results present a classification of coworking through the identification of four main coworking activities that show how coworking cannot be considered a unified phenomenon, but a hybrid one that promotes different logics connected to work. The results can constitute a conceptual anchorage and a reference point for further explorations in different contexts and workplaces. They also enhance the debate around the conceptualization of sharing inside the new forms of work and organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-147
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • activity theory
  • coworking


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