Governing through Teamwork: Reconstituting Subjectivity in a Call Centre *

Governing through Teamwork: Reconstituting Subjectivity in a Call Centre * ABSTRACT This article focuses on teamworking as a form of governmentality whereby management seeks to govern by distance. This involves mobilizing the support and commitment of employees to teamworking and organizational goals by appealing to their autonomy, unity, sociability and desire for a more enriched work experience. It is the struggle over subjectivity that is of concern here, for teamworking can be seen as a technology that aims to transform individuals into subjects that secure their sense of meaning and significance through working as a team. We will explore through a case study of a call centre in a large building society how a discourse of teamworking has begun to impinge upon individuals so as to shape not only how they behave but also how they think, derive meaning and understand the world. In turn, we consider some of the tensions and inconsistencies of teamworking in relation to the secrecy of pay differentials, and the return to productivity pressures after a period of relaxation and trust. Ultimately the article examines how individuals respond to, agonize over, resist and baulk against the imposition of ‘team lives’ when this rubs up against what they understand to be their ‘private lives’. This will involve considering gender tensions that have so far been largely neglected in relation to call centres and teamworking. Teamworking, we will argue, reflects a will to govern rather than a mechanism of government. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management Studies Wiley

Governing through Teamwork: Reconstituting Subjectivity in a Call Centre *

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/governing-through-teamwork-reconstituting-subjectivity-in-a-call-5QarJsVCfZ
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0022-2380
eISSN
1467-6486
DOI
10.1111/1467-6486.00393
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT This article focuses on teamworking as a form of governmentality whereby management seeks to govern by distance. This involves mobilizing the support and commitment of employees to teamworking and organizational goals by appealing to their autonomy, unity, sociability and desire for a more enriched work experience. It is the struggle over subjectivity that is of concern here, for teamworking can be seen as a technology that aims to transform individuals into subjects that secure their sense of meaning and significance through working as a team. We will explore through a case study of a call centre in a large building society how a discourse of teamworking has begun to impinge upon individuals so as to shape not only how they behave but also how they think, derive meaning and understand the world. In turn, we consider some of the tensions and inconsistencies of teamworking in relation to the secrecy of pay differentials, and the return to productivity pressures after a period of relaxation and trust. Ultimately the article examines how individuals respond to, agonize over, resist and baulk against the imposition of ‘team lives’ when this rubs up against what they understand to be their ‘private lives’. This will involve considering gender tensions that have so far been largely neglected in relation to call centres and teamworking. Teamworking, we will argue, reflects a will to govern rather than a mechanism of government.

Journal

Journal of Management StudiesWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2003

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off