Within the Walls of Worktopia: The Continuing Evolution of Capitalist Control Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Elliott, Christopher Shane
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • The ability of firms to strategically shape the culture of workers has been studied descriptively, prescriptively, and critically since the famous Hawthorne experiments. This study considers the extent to which information technology aids management in this project. Using four years of participant observation in a product distribution facility, the author demonstrates how workers construct informal prestige hierarchies based on data provided by management. Workers attempt to gain status by running or working as hard as their bodies will allow. The result reduces the cost of labor for management. The informal culture of workers appears to serve the interests of the company's bottom line. This study adds to the literature in which surveillance and information technology have been effectively used as indirect methods of control, supplementing traditional methods, thus creating informal control mechanisms within the group.
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  • In Copyright
  • Kalleberg, Arne
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2012

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