Module Details

BE435-6-SP-CO: Management, Society And New Forms Of Work

Year: 2017/18
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No
Pre-requisites: BE410
Co-requisites:

Staff
Supervisor: Dr Stevphen Shukaitis
Teaching Staff: Dr Stephen Shukaitis
Contact details: ebsugcol@essex.ac.uk

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

Changes in technology, society and the economy have important implications for management,
organization and work. Due to the theoretical lenses employed by management theorists, however, these implications are often not immediately appreciated. This module will examine the current changes happening in the world of work in light of contemporary social theory. Particular attention will be paid to the wide-ranging socio-economic changes variously referred to in terms of the 'knowledge economy.' 'post-industrial society.' 'post-Fordism' or the 'new economy'. What all of these formulations share is an increased emphasis on 'knowledge' and 'communication' as the basis of organization, work, management and competitive advantage.

This shift of value production away from traditional concerns with capital, land and labor, toward more 'immaterial' resources such as knowledge, renders many of the old techniques and methods of management and work organization redundant. New forms of accounting for intangibles are necessary, as are new methods of control and supervision in more distributed forms of organization and work. This module will focus on the emerging realities of management, organization and work within this new economy. Rather than a sanitized vision of the knowledge-intensive firm where everyone is equal, empowered, highly educated and self-actualizing in autonomous, networked organizations, this reality is often characterized by intrusive forms of managerial control, intensified surveillance, routinization and Taylorism, an increasing precariousness of employment and career, and a retrenchment in the gendered division of labor. Indeed, for many the engines of the 'new' economy are not knowledge and brainwork, but the high-volume, low-cost sweatshops found both in developing countries and in the cities of the global North.

By focusing upon the wider context within which these organizational and management challenges are arising, this module will prepare students for the new realities of work and management by paying attention to the full range of developments in organization. This includes so-called 'leading edge' phenomena such as distributed, networked organizations; new forms of work including management consultancy, symbolic analysis and affective labor; new forms of exchange like Open Source software and Napster; and new forms of resistance to socio-economic change including neo-Luddism, culture-jamming, alternative media, anti-globalization and popular movements against precarious labor. It also includes more conventional forms of organization, however, including sweatshops, fast food, retail, call centres, mining and agriculture.


Module Aims
* To critically understand contemporary changes in work, organization with particular reference to new technologies.
* To situate these changes in the context of wider societal and political-economic changes.
* To provide a theoretical framework for analyzing and critiquing these changes and to understand their implications for control and resistance in contemporary management and the labor process.
* To introduce a range of empirical examples of new organizational forms.

* Understand the dimensions of contemporary circuits of production and consumption.
* To be able to situate knowledge work and affective labor within these wider circuits.
*

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module students should be able to:
* Understand the implications of changes in technology, society and the economy for management, work and organization.
* Have an appreciation of the ways in which new forms of labor and organization both shape and are shaped by these wider changes.

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module will be delivered over 10 weeks in the spring term. There will be a weekly two-hour lecture session.

Assessment

100 per cent Coursework Mark

Coursework

The assessment on BE435 is 100% coursework and comprises of two assignments, a group presentation and an essay. The first assignment is group presentation that counts for 25% of your final module grade. The essay (based on the presentation) is 3000 words long and counts for 75% of the final module grade.

Other information

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

1. Written Communication
2. Oral Communication
3. Research Skills
4. Critical Thinking
5. Teamwork-Collaboration
6. Digital and Technical Fluency
7. Innovation and Curiosity

Bibliography

  • All reading lists are available here: http://readinglists.essex.ac.uk/ (Essex login required).

Further information