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Corporate restructuring, work intensification and perceptual politics: Exploring the ambiguity of managerial job insecurity

Morris, Jonathan and Hassard, John 2020. Corporate restructuring, work intensification and perceptual politics: Exploring the ambiguity of managerial job insecurity. Economic and Industrial Democracy 41 (2) , pp. 323-350. 10.1177/0143831X17710733

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Abstract

Whereas social theorists, qualitative investigators and survey-based analysts suggest advanced economies are increasingly characterized by managerial job insecurity, database and questionnaire researchers propose relatively stable tenure rates for managers. We make sense of this ambiguity in three phases: First, following interviews with managers in Japan, the UK and the USA, we offer support for the ‘global convergence’ thesis, through data reflecting greater job insecurity generated by comparable and recurrent corporate restructuring. Second, considering research suggesting relative stability in managerial tenure rates, we argue that our findings – signifying increased insecurity – can be explained in terms of the ‘perceptual politics’ of US-style shareholder capitalism impinging, hegemonically, upon occupational sensibilities. Third, in concluding this argument, we suggest that everyday managerial experience can be understood in light of corporations instilling a perceptual ‘insecurity message’ in managers, essentially as part of a tangible control strategy directed at the inexorable ratcheting-up of management productivity demands globally.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corporate restructuring; delayering/downsizing; job insecurity; managerial perception; managerial work.
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0143-831X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 April 2017
Date of Acceptance: 24 March 2017
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2020 09:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/99597

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