Towards Friction-Free Work: A Multi-Method Study of the Use of Information Technology in the Real-Estate Industry

NSF Grant IIS-9732799 and IIS-0000178

Principal investigators

Students

  • Marcel Allbritton, formerly of Syracuse University School of Information Studies

Project overview

The goal of this study was to examine how the pervasive use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the real-estate industry changes the way people and organizations in that industry work. Real estate was chosen because it has already adopted many new technologies, but, as a transactional intermediary, will be greatly affected by the on-going shift to electronic transactions.

The objectives of our overall study are: 1) to describe how the use of ICT changes the ways individual knowledge workers conduct their work, 2) describe organizational changes related to the use of ICT and 3) describe how change in individual work changes organizational structures and processes.

This study provided a deeper scientific understanding of how work and ICT are interrelated and how organizations view information technology as enablers of business goals. Further, findings illuminate issues regarding new forms of organization such as "companies of one" and virtual organization. In turn, these findings should provide useful insights for the design of ICT.

Data collection for the project finished in the summer of 2003. We are currently finishing a final write up of our findings.

Project documents

Project publications

  1. Crowston, K. and Wigand, R. (1998). "Use of the Web for electronic commerce in real estate" . Presented at the Association for Information Systems Americas Conference, Baltimore, MD, August 1998.
  2. Crowston, K. and Wigand, R. (1999). "Real estate war in cyberspace: An emerging electronic market?" International Journal of Electronic Markets, 9(1-2), 1-8. (PDF)
  3. Crowston, K., Sawyer, S. and Wigand, R. (1999). "Investigating the interplay between structure and technology in the real estate industry" . Presented at the Organizational Communications and Information Systems Division, Academy of Management Conference. Chicago, IL.
  4. Crowston, K., Sawyer, S. and Wigand, R. (1999). "ICT in the real estate industry: Agents and social capital" . Presented at the Association for Information Systems Americas Conference, Milwaukee, WI.
  5. Crowston, K., Sawyer, S. and Wigand, R. (2001). Investigating the interplay between structure and technology in the real estate industry . Information, Technology and People, 14(2), 163-183. (This paper received a "Highly commended award".) (Draft, PDF)
  6. Sawyer, S., Crowston, K., Allbritton, M. and Wigand, R. (2000). "How do information and communication technologies reshape work? Evidence from the residential real estate industry" (Research in progress). In Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, Brisbane, Australia, December 10-13. (PDF)
  7. Wigand, R., Crowston, K., Sawyer, S. and Allbritton, M. (2001). "Information and communication technologies in the real estate industry: Results of a pilot survey" (Research in progress). In S. Smithson and J. Gricar and M. Podlogar and S. Avgerinou (Eds.), Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2001) (pp. 339-343). Bled, Slovenia. (PDF)
  8. Sawyer, S., Crowston, K., Wigand, R. and Allbritton, M. (2003). "The social embeddedness of transactions: Evidence from the residential real estate industry". The Information Society, 19(2), 135-154. (Preliminary draft, PDF)
  9. Myers, M. D. and Crowston, K. (2004). "Will real estate agents survive? The transformation of the real estate industry by information technology". University of Auckland Business Review, 6(1). (PDF)
  10. Crowston, K. and Myers, M. D. (2004). "Information technology and the transformation of industries: Three research perspectives" . Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 13, 5-28.
  11. Sawyer, S., Wigand, R. and Crowston, K. (2005). "Redefining access: Uses and roles of information and communication technologies in the US residential real estate industry from 1995 to 2005". Journal of Information Technology, 20(4), 213-233.
  12. Steinfield, C. W., Markus, M. L. and Wigand, R. T. (2005). "Exploring interorganizational systems at the industry level of analysis: Evidence from the US home mortgage industry". Journal of Information Technology, 20(4), 224-233.
  13. Allbritton, M. (2007). "A model of contractual project-based work: Personal social network connectivity, ICT use and self-monitoring." Unpublished PhD thesis, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.


    Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.