Alessandra Abeille

Thesis title:

An interdisciplinary framework for disaggregate assessment of productivity and well-being impacts of digital technologies on knowledge workers in nontraditional settings (ITINERANT) (a CASE project with Cisco Systems & Transport for Greater Manchester)


The rapid development of new mobile devices and omnipresent connectivity has led to the increasing decoupling of work (and other activities) from specific locations. Cultures of work have emerged, especially strong among knowledge workers, that exploit non-traditional settings, including public spaces and transport modes, with the aim of improving productivity and well-being by the better alignment of tasks to productive times and spaces. The overall aim of Alessandra’s PhD research will be to develop new ways of embedding emerging qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding impacts of digitisation and connectivity into appraisal and evaluation frameworks for investments in infrastructure.Towards this end, the first objective will be to utilise social science methods and theories to explore case studies enabled through the partnership. Accompanied by training in the mobile collaboration technology, this will permit in-depth understanding of productivity and well-being impacts of digital technologies by knowledge workers in non-traditional settings. The second objective will be to identify and fill key gaps in the existing investment and appraisal methodologies. The final objective will be to develop advanced disaggregate statistical and econometric modelling methodologies to address the aforementioned shortcomings by incorporating interdisciplinary input into appraisal and evaluation methodologies for infrastructure investments.

First supervisor:

John Polak

CASE partner:

Cisco Systems


8 – Urbanisation, Social Change & Urban Transformation