Information brokering in globally distributed work: a workarounds perspective

Past studies have so far taken an interest in the two important roles intermediaries play to effectively broker information. One, where intermediaries connect information between multiple users. Two, where they protect information being transmitted. Common to these two streams is the assumption that efficient brokering takes place when information is visible. However, in practice, information exchanges bypass the intermediary for various reasons. Despite this, existing research has paid little attention how intermediaries broker effectively when information is not visible. Drawing on a qualitative case study in a globally distributed finance function we explore how intermediaries broker in a complex, distributed setting that creates conditions to distort and hide information. We contribute to brokering literature by offering a new third role: regulating information. Our research also provides insights for intermediary management by illuminating the normative complexity of information workarounds which aid problem-solving but leads to information hiding.