'Mental mobility' in the digital age: entrepreneurs and the online home-based business

Marialaura Di Domenico, Elizabeth Daniel, Daniel Nunan

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    Abstract

    Home-based online business ventures are an increasingly pervasive yet under-researched phenomenon. The experiences and mindset of entrepreneurs setting up and running such enterprises require better understanding. Using data from a qualitative study of 23 online home-based business entrepreneurs, we propose the augmented concept of ?mental mobility? to encapsulate how they approach their business activities. Drawing on Howard P. Becker's early theorising of mobility, together with Victor Turner's later notion of liminality, we conceptualise mental mobility as the process through which individuals navigate the liminal spaces between the physical and digital spheres of work and the overlapping home/workplace, enabling them to manipulate and partially reconcile the spatial, temporal and emotional tensions that are present in such work environments. Our research also holds important applications for alternative employment contexts and broader social orderings because of the increasingly pervasive and disruptive influence of technology on experiences of remunerated work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)266-281
    Number of pages16
    JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
    Volume29
    Issue number3
    Early online date24 Nov 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2014

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