An extensive review of the literature reveals a lack of insight into why some employees and their families benefit from the adoption of mobile technology while others do not. The paper summarizes the authors' efforts to answer this question. The authors undertook a longitudinal case study of the adoption and use of a BlackBerry Smartphone by 25 professional knowledge workers. Four theoretical lenses were used to help with the data analysis process: boundary theory, the social constructivist view of technology, sensemaking and attribution theory. Analysis of the Time 2 data identified three groups. Segmentors (n=4) did not use their smartphones outside work hours. Integrators (n=8), used their smartphones to connect to both work and family anywhere, but not any time (temporally separated work and family roles). Struggling segmentors (n=13) felt pressured by their organization to use their device 24/7 and did so. The analysis indicates that the relationship between the use of mobile technology and successful boundary management depends on the development of a strategy to manage the device prior to adoption, the ability to change one's strategy to respond to concerns at home, and self-control.

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Journal British Journal of Management
Duxbury, L, Higgins, C. (Christopher), Smart, R, & Stevenson, M. (Maggie). (2014). Mobile Technology and Boundary Permeability. British Journal of Management, 25(3), 570–588. doi:10.1111/1467-8551.12027