This article develops an understanding of coworking spaces as organizational phenomena. Based on an ethnography of betahaus in Berlin, we demonstrate how coworking spaces not only provide a sense of community but also pattern the work activities of their members. We theorize this finding by drawing on the emergent literature on organizationality. Our contribution is twofold. First, we challenge current understandings of coworking spaces as neutral containers for independent work. Instead, we show how coworking incorporates the disposition of becoming organizational. That is, coworking spaces can frame and organize work and may even provide a basis for collective action. Second, we add to research on organizing outside traditional organizations by drawing attention to the complex and shifting interplay of formal and informal relationships in such settings. In doing so, we inform current debates about new forms of organization and organizing.
Bibliographical notePublished online: January 31, 2019
- Partial organization