This report presents the objectives, methodological guidelines, tools associated to Work Package 3 (fieldwork) and schedule (main deliverables and deadlines).
The report draws from the initial work plan proposal, albeit adapted with a view to reflect national partners’ methodological inputs and preliminary research findings. Compared to initial work plan, main change concerns the replacement of focus-groups by semi-structured interviews with a view to gather information on how sector-related social partners frame and approach challenges brought by ICT and virtual work. Overall, the election of the focus group technique responded to the objective to ‘reconstruct’ a social situation in which trade union and employer organisation discuss on the topic of virtual work. In this case, researchers could observe and analyse the main elements of discussions and how each organisation frame and approach the topic.
However, preliminary findings suggest that, with some exceptions (notably Austria and Denmark), sector related social partners have barely negotiated and regulated topics associated to ICT and virtual work. Lack of sectoral collective regulation on virtual work may indicate that industrial relation discussions on the topic have not been held. Under those circumstances, focus group is not likely to achieve initial objective. Bearing this in mind, this research method has been replaced by semi-structured interviews, which enables researcher to in-depth analyse the view of each organisation, studying also why the topic has not been given priority in sector-related bargaining.
Accordingly, field work includes two different research qualitative methods: semi-structured interviews and mini-case studies.