Carsten Østerlund

Professor | Associate Dean for Research
309 Hinds Hall
Phone: 315.443.8773
Carsten Oesterlund

Carsten Østerlund is a professor at the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University. I received my Ph.D. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management (2003) and a M.A. in social psychology and social anthropology from University of Aarhus and University of Copenhagen, Denmark. During my M.A. studies I spent two years as a Fulbright scholar at UC Berkeley, Department of Social and Cultural Studies. Subsequently, I worked in the Work Practice and Technology Group at Xerox PARC.

My larger areas of interest include distributed & virtual work, organizational learning and knowledge, communication practices, and medical informatics. My research explores the organizational implications of information systems. More specifically, I study the organization, creation, and use of documents in distributed work environments where peoples daily practices are characterized by high mobility. Empirically, I approach these issues through in-depth qualitative and quantitative studies of everyday work practices in organizations including among others: healthcare, eScience, free/libre/open source software development, game design, sales, citizen science.

As modern organizations have become more global and distributed, organizational life is increasingly dependent on those who are distant in time and space. How to incorporate the concerns and contributions of absent others is an important consideration for organizational members. The organization, creation, and use of information systems serve as one strategy to capture and stand for the interests and work of others. My current research focuses on the practices that go into documenting work – which I refer to as documenting practices. This includes the activity of capturing knowledge in any media whether paper based, electronic or wall mounted. Studies of tangible documenting practices allow me to articulate the temporal and spatial dimensions of distributed and mobile work in organizational settings. In short, my research explores the question: how do people use documents to manage their movements and interactions in time and space?

Carsten Østerlund CV

  • AI and Future of Work
  • Trace Methods
  • Medical informatics
  • Distributed and virtual work
  • Organizational learning
  • Knowledge management
  • Documenting practices
  • Sociomaterial practices
  • Game design
  • Learning in citizen science
  • Ethnography and qualitative methods

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Chair Diana Forsythe Awards Committee

Senior Editor Information & Organization

Working Documents and Documenting Work

Guest Editor Information Technology and People, Special issue on Personal Health Records, 2013

European Journal of Information System Special issue on Qualitative Research Methods, 2010.

  • Globalization, IT and Culture
  • Global Collaboration
  • IT and Organizational Behavior
  • Enabled Innovation and Change Management
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Science and technology studies

Family and friends, travel, sailing, cooking, bicycling, and hiking.