Publication Date


Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Collaborative Spaces at Work: Innovation, Creativity and Relations


Fabrizio Montanari, Elisa Mattarelli, Anna Chiara Scapolan




An indispensable desideratum in collaborative spaces is to foster dynamic, barrier-free environments where professionals from different backgrounds can find common ground for collaborative projects. However, although such goals cannot be met without proficient and effective communication, research on the use of language as the most important means of information exchange in collaborative spaces is still needed. Our contribution in this chapter consists in exploring the linguistic interactions among coworkers of such spaces. We propose a multidisciplinary approach integrating insights from the organizational literature on communication and research methods in theoretical linguistics. The sociolinguistic analysis of two coworking spaces reveals essential traits such as language diversity, the use of different formal and informal linguistic registers, as well as the appeal to various media and communication modalities. This type of versatility can foster information exchange, knowledge sharing, and, ultimately, effective collaboration. However, it might also act as a barrier to communication, suggesting the need for collaborative spaces to establish common linguistic ground as the basis for promoting collaboration.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Collaborative Spaces at Work: Innovation, Creativity and Relations on December 29, 2020, available online:

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