Title: Work innovations: transformation, micro-emancipations, or discursive shift?

Authors: Fiona Hurd

Addresses: Department of Strategy and Human Resource Management, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand

Abstract: Through a deconstruction of the taken-for-granted assumption of the 'transformation of work', I argue that the nature of this transformation is largely discursive, underpinned by enduring assumptions of economic imperative and the control of worker subjectivities. Predominated by discourses of mutual benefit and innovation/knowledge work, there appears to be a significant disconnect between the promises of these discourses, and the experiences of most workers. I explore whether new forms of work may be examples of an emancipatory transformation of work. I question whether the polarity in outcomes might be seen as an emancipation for the 'chosen', rather than meaningful transformation of the workplace for all workers.

Keywords: work changes; knowledge work; critical management studies; emancipation; work innovation; wworkplace transformation; new work forms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2012.047977

International Journal of Work Innovation, 2012 Vol.1 No.1, pp.79 - 93

Published online: 17 Sep 2014 *

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