Purpose: The paper aims to analyse a specific configuration of coworking space that emphasises the production of social value in the territory (resilient/welfare-oriented coworking). This kind of space represents the current evolution of coworking that recovers the original meaning of coworking space to promote social changes, questions the role of the physical space and brings to the fore its connections between the internal (space) and the external (territory). Design/methodology/approach: The paper presents an action research on a rising network of coworking spaces. The action research was based on qualitative interviews of the founders and main stakeholders of the network and monthly meetings discussions with the steering committee of the coworking spaces. Findings: The paper provides some key elements that highlight different meanings related to the value produced by the coworking spaces and related interpretations of the material and immaterial characteristics of the spaces. The results also highlight different managerial challenges connected with these interpretations. Originality/value: The main results of the study shed light on the fact that it is not enough to focus on material aspects of the coworking space, such as the design and the dispositions of furniture and the curatorship of the relationships among coworkers, if the desired outcome is a reinterpretation of work against the consolidated individualistic paradigm. Rather, the boundary work is the condition that permits to sustain and maintain the evolutionary trajectory of coworking in the most innovative direction. Inside a network of different stakeholders, aimed at integrating individual and collective needs, the constant crossing of boundaries between people, relationships and contexts is the process that permits to generate new meanings and possibilities of action (affordance), holding a transformative potential.
- Action research
- Coworking space