CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition


The new ways of organizing one’s work are based on a paradox: whereas working conditions have grown harder, the autonomy in implementing tasks and activities is ever-increasing. A paradox generally solved by highlighting a new form of alienation, whose strength rests with the principle of commitment under coercion laced with the management’s crafty use of the notion of splitting the profits fifty-fifty. The paradox can be approached and analyzed from another angle altogether — from the very work at stake —, by attempting to understand what it means for the employees. To come to the conclusion of a new form of alienation requires a coherent structure able to impose and work out organizational lines and methods that fit together to perfection. Now, in concrete terms, consistency can be only apparent, and often transient. Inconsistency enables to hypothesize the existence of a gap between work’s purposes and employees’ experiences and feelings. The two pieces, that are part of the same jigsaw puzzle, sometimes fit badly, and the employees’ experience stem from this very disconnection. The dialectical relation between these two aspects makes it possible to grasp the paradox of the new forms of work organization.


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