Social media: a (new) contested terrain between sousveillance and surveillance in the digital workplace

Claire Taylor, Tony Dobbins

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Abstract

Online social media activities constitute a (new) contested terrain of NTWE in the new digital workplace. This article explores the extent to which new social media (SM) digital technologies extend managerial control and, alternatively, give employees dissenting capacity to reverse or turn the digital panoptical gaze back on their employer – invoking both a contested terrain and counter discipline of managerial authority. By deploying sousveillance, workers may use SM to observe management, capture material to post onlineand voice dissenting employee views. Such employee dissent problematises approaches to corporate surveillance practices and management authority, which attempts to intrusively control employee online activities. The article contributes to extant literature on sousveillance, employee dissent and management control. Methods comprise data gathered from 25 interviews with HR managers, frontline managers, and operational employees in seven organisations, triangulating contested perceptions of managerial surveillance practice and dissenting employee sousveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-284
Number of pages22
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Volume36
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • dissent
  • human resource management
  • management control
  • social media
  • sousveillance
  • surveillance

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