ON THE VERGE OF TOTATLIY -

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14 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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O
N THE VERGE OF TOTATLIY
-

HRM AND ‘GOVERNMENTATLITY’




Dr. Oliver Krone

MBA

*

Prof. Dr. Jari Stenvall

Independent Researcher
, Goehrenstr
. 35
, 76199 Karlsruhe
-
Germany, oliver.krone.finland@googlemail.com

University of Lapland, Faculty of Social
Sciences,
Yliopistonkatu 8, 96300 Rovaniemi
-
Finland
, jari.stenvall@ulapland.fi



Conference contribution to

„Imagining new employment relations and new solidarities“, 20
-
22 June 2013,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Track 5,
HRM and Social Innovation










2

Abstract

This paper suggests that the field of HRM has been driven not by concern about the well
-
being
employees, but by a pervasive hidden agenda of biopolitics in order to enhance organisational and overall
societal „security“. Both these securities are
according this contribution embedded in measures that have
sought to emancipate individual employees from their peer
-
groups, while enframing them more in “neo
-
liberal”
work structures
.


This paper consequently seeks showing this thread of development for
the latter twentieth and
twenty
-
first

century
based on

the example

of

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development,
here in particular the field of large scale Information System Development (ISD). For the times periods
before this a large li
terature review is performed into the field of “go
u
vernmentality”, respectively
Foucaultian inspired security studies

(Foucault, 2002 a/b;

Miller & Rose, 2008; Dillon & Reid, 2009
)
.

The authors suggest that measures increas
ing

employee productivity

need to be read in the light of this
Foucaultian Securitization. P
otential
s

for innovation

and their implementation

under conditions of
globalisation and increased use of technology

thus are hinging on their support to these security measures
.
In light of

this argument questions need to be raised on the premises that underline current work pattern
structures, and modes of interaction between the social partners.

The argument provide
d by the authors
, is that nowadays this discourse of security, or “go
u
vernmentality”
,

has reached a level of predominance

so that it is necessary

understanding that it exists prior being able
going beyond it
(Miller & Rose, 2008)
.




3

INTRODUCTION


In this paper our intention is to draw together human
resources

management
and

govermentality
including
biopolitics
. These approaches have so far rarely been connected in research literately. We suggest
that

the perspective of govermentality

helps to understand how human resource management effects on
people in organization. Fro
m the other perspective biopolitics could help to make human resource
management more influential in organizations.

There are several definitions on human res
ources

management. In generally. HRM” is defined as “the
management of work and people towards des
ired ends” that “is a fundamental activity in any organi
z
ation
where human beings are employed” that “happens in some form or another” (Boxall, Purcell and Wright
2007)
.

The business managerial and economical concern has been always on the question how

to achieve
an optimal resource

allocation under conditions of scarcity for goods required to satisfy needs.


The concept of governmentality
refers to


art of government

. E
s
pecially people learn how to regulate
themselves. For this purpose govermentali
ty includes organized practices (mentalities, rationalities, and
techniques) through which subjects are governed.
The concept of biopolitics brings us to ask for instance
how do individuals engage in self
-
regulation across social contexts and how is the co
nduct of everyday life
in the organization shaped by social relations of power (see Holmer 2008). In this sense the the concept of
biopolitics helps to understand the purpose of HRM.

There is a long history concerning governmetality.
T
he governmental
itie
’s

pattern of thinking about
output security can be traced
,

according to Foucault (2002a)

well into the 17
th

century literature on state
activities, and the onset of the discussion of legitimate state intervention into economic processes. This
debate, as we
know today, gave raise to the capitalistic form of economies in which the state sets the
parameters and legal infrastructure, while the economic actors themselves sort out a perfect value
allocation, and structure of work within the market and organisation
s. In both fields securitization has
taken hold as result of the capitalistic economic structuring. The

securitization
led

and resulted from the
emergence of medicine and statistics
,

and the meticulous observation of the processes happening during
outbrea
ks of the black de
ath or the plague. As result of these observations the “state” became aware of
the “normal” sequences, distributions in the population, lengths, and potential fatalities of outbreaks of
these diseases. Life in its own
-
right become subject

to management, in order to maintain an order of
things.


In this guise of observation and “let things move along their natural path” we can observe and see an
result of the notion that capitalistic economies are something ‘natural given’, and that state i
ntervention in
the functioning of these natural processes is something artificial that contradicts these natural laws
(Foucault,2002 a/b). HRM, as to be seen below, is also a residual and consequence of this ‘natural law’
given status of ‘capitalistic econ
omising’. Thus, in a longer term consequence, HRM seems to represent a
social innovation in the field of organisations that turn employees into resources looking for rents on their
own behalf, and consequently to the ‘darwinistic’ anticipation of work rela
tions as fight of one against
each other (Foucault, 2002a; Dueck, 2004)
.



This sought
about a securitizatio
n by procedures

can be also found interestingly in the literature of
business administration when reading Penrose’s (1959) volume on the growth

of the firm. In that volume
she argues that much of much firms growth depends on managements capabilities to talk to each and
come to meaningful outcomes. In her view economic organisations are characterised by a set of resources
that render services. A m
anagerial board conduct searches in order to uncover new ways on how these
resources could be employed, in order to execute better services. In due course of their searches,
management engages in minimizing economic risks of enacting certain plans, by coll
ecting information
under a given method (Penrose, 1959, p. 60). This method ensures a management boards’ satisfaction
with the output of information searches. Decisions are taken actions in order to expand the corporation
further. In this process of inform
ation search, complying with a method, Penrose saw a measure ensuring
organisational security by avoiding risks based on uncertainty avoidance (Penrose, 1959, p. 56
-
9).


It is against this

dual

background
of security understandings
that
we ask


What are th
e elements in the discourse on HRM by which we can identify security premises?


4

Are there chances to go beyond this security infused discourse on “HRM”?



These two research questions
are

answer
ed

below by detailing measures

in HRM

hint
ing

to
a
security
d
iscourse that originates in rationalism.
Only by knowing how HRM is infused with security premises
one
can

go beyond this discourse
. This also allows

achieve social innovations
,
employment relationships
enhanc
ing

solidarity and social cohesion.



For this
reason in

the next chapter
we
introduce elements of security


or governmentality
-

that have
negative impacts on workers and overall solidarity. In that chapter we outline our understanding of HRM

in a longitudinal analysis of different phases
. In a consec
utive chapter we show how in the field of ICT
ISD

these modern organisational
work structures and HRM measures

induce stress and anxiety
, thus
eroding solidarity, in

order to

increase organizational output.
Spotlight is

on the question in which forms
secur
ity is presenting itself to researchers
, and how it can be identified.
Lastly in the conclusions
answer
s

to
the
second question whether there are chances to go beyond security induced HRM

are given
.


S
ECURITY


G
OVERNMENTALITY



B
IOPOLITICS


The concept of biopolitics
is
very useful in the context of industrial relations. It
allows asking
for instance
how individuals engage in self
-
regulation across social contexts
,

how the conduct of everyday life in the
workplace
is
shaped by social relation
s of power (see Holmer
,

2008). Biopolitics is based on the idea of a
stable hierarchy and an external relationship between life and politics. It is not the expression of a
sovereign will, but aims at the administration and regulation of life processes on t
he level of populations
and individuals as part of this collective.


Normalising and standardization


Michel Foucault developed his ideas on biopolitics as a part of his lectures at the Collegé de France. In the
years 1976
-
1979
he

gave a series of lecture
s in which an account of the emergence of the modern liberal
democracies

was given. This account
rested less on the notion of government by the people in order to
prevent the war of all against all, but much rather a more depersonalised form of government
that
sought

regulati
ng

work and living patterns resting in the human as a biological species (Foucault, 2006 a).

In
this context
successful strategies are related to effecting to people’s behaviours and self
-
steering. The
objects


citizens and workers
-

should recognise the model of behaviours and self
-
steering demanded by
them

via means of technology and knowledge

(Rose 1999). The concept of technology includes technical
artefacts, strategies of social engineering and technolog
ies

of self
-
control

(Bröckl
ing, 2007)
. It means
practices through which individuals and collectives shape the behaviour of each other or themselves
(Miller and Rose, pp. 106
-
107, also pp. 90
-
2). Studies do not understand such technologies as the
expression of social relations; nor i
nversely, is society seen as a result of determinant technological factors.
As Bröckling et al. (20
00
) have argued, what is at play here is a complex of practical processes,
instruments, programs, calculations, measures, and apparatuses making it possible
to form and control
form of action, structures of preferences, and premises for decisions by social agents in the view of
certain goals.


Individualising of rule compliance


During the 18
th

century a shift
occurred

from disciplinarisation of the whole popu
lation
,

to one that
allow
s

for ‘
maki
ng life’
.

Making life


became important as it disregarded differences of culture between
contesting groups for state power. Instead it focussed on the individual compliance with rules that
government define
s
, and by
complying with these rules citizens became eligible for participation in
societal life (Foucault, 1997; Mi
ller and Rose, p. 109). In the ‘
old world


up to the 19
th

century individual
sub
-
ordination to these rules

was common. Individuals

internali
zed

and ex
tend
ed

these rules to perfect
their

compliance with societal norms
in order to

enhance individual forthcoming

(Foucault, 2006 b).

Following Foucault
, Bröckling

(2007)
and Ehrenberg (
2008
)

much of the modern school curriculum is

5

centring on this question be
coming subjective, and internalising these control and self
-
control techniques.
In these conditions once personal elements like rearing child’s becomes an economic gamble on the costs
and falling out of the standardised forms of life. Under conditions of l
iberal
-
market oriented societies, so
Foucault, the maintenance of a decent form of life


“making life” in terms from Foucault’s 1976 work
-

comes from an individual optimisation to the conditions of this form of governance (Foucault, 2006 a/b).


In pursuing this optimal form of living values like solidarity and social cohesion
become less and less
meaningful.
Miller and Rose (2008) asked whether this form of governance
of society and the individual
lead to

a demise of the political and thus also t
he societal.


Knowledges of professionalism and peer group pressure


In line with Miller and Rose much of the working structure
s originating

in

biopolitics focuse generally on
“[..] defective individuals [..]” (Miller & Rose, 2008, p. 45) whose working re
sults
,

and patterns
,

are to be
held in checks irres
pective of the ‘professionalism’

that prevails in individual behaviour.
They

(2008)
suggest that knowledge and work patterning are measures structuring individual’s life in line with a
political language c
onstitution
of the
objects of discourse. By this practice, so Miller and Rose, a mediated
form of power is actualised, allowing for more efficient means of governance. Furthermore, these forms
enhance predictability of behaviour on the side of economic par
ticipants.
They

argue that these dedicated
knowledge forms are intellectual technologies resting on the expertise of the bearer (Miller
&

Rose, 2008,
p. 22). As far as they refer to dedicated knowledge sets as intellectual technology, it is highly interesting
observing how much expert status within a dedicated domain setting is circumstantial to the domain
coherent application of this techn
ological knowledge (cp. Turner, 2000, p. 50 and 51
-
52). In organisational
reality this translates into positive performance perceptions when acting in line with governmentality
expectations of a given domain (e.g. Bromme, 2000, pp. 124
-
125; a similar argum
ent can be read into
Miller & Rose, 2008, pp. 97).


HRM


The emergence of HRM in
its

current form cannot be understood without recognising the history of and
parallelism

to the topic of business administration (Miller & Rose, 2008, p. 176
-
184). In many way
s this
parallel movement is also part of the core of modern governmentality
,

with its emphasis on potential self
-
exploitation (Fach, 2000, p.116).

Since the twenties of the last century the worker has become
,

and was
,

subject to a series of shifts of its
position in the organisation that
oscillate

on the negative side with an emphasis on its „extension to a
tool“ status (e.g. Mintzberg, 1979; Adler & Borys, 1996) and on the positive side an emphasis on self
-
entrepreneu
rship

and
emancipation

(e.g. Bratton & Gold, 1999, pp. 99
-
123;
Bröckling, 2007;

Bartmann,
2012).



According to Miller and Rose, in line with Bratton and Gold, the informed reader can distinguish
different periods of HRM
.
For the in
vestigation of the questions underlying this paper largely three main
periods
of HRM measures
can be differentiated
.



1)

The

first period goes back the
early days of the past century
and last
until

about the 30’s of the
century. In this period largely HRM, and business administration in tandem, sought to find the
way of organising

work structures

ensur
ing

the biggest independence from the individual worker.
It was the birth hour of
“S
cientific manag
ement


and

Fordism


(Bratton & Gold, 1999, p.104
-
6).

Employees were considered as extensions of the job, and were not trustworthy. The premise
of the job
-
allocation
,

and employees valuatio
n
,

was that of a “[..]’greedy ro
bot’, and to be too
stupid to
develop the ‘one best way’ of doing a task” (Bratton & Gold, 1999, p. 104). Fordism in
its own right included measures that reduced individual workers freedom of action in order to
maintain eligibility to certain positive measures
,

like
e.g.
reduced workin
g hours for higher salary
when certain forms of
behaviour where taken while othe
rs were discontinued (ibid.)
.

Here we can observe a first connection between governmentality structures and HRM. It is the
individual restraining from certain behaviour to ma
intain eligibility for certain rights. Also work

6

structuring happens more on a negative premise of humans, thereby taking more the punishing
side of governmentality as it prevailed until the early days of industrialisation (cp. Miller & Rose,
2008, 176
-
178
).

2)

Overlapping with this first period was
the

emergence of “Human Relations movement”
.

It
sought
realign
ing

work content with the sociological and psychological needs of work
by

the
employee.
W
ork
-
allocation and relationships were aligned so that “peaceful” working relations on
the overall organisational plane could be developed. For this reason workers
-
councils, and less
authoritative

supervisors were established. Focus was to bring back in the

human component of
work. This period lasted into the late
forties

and early fifties (Bratton & Gold, 1999, p. 106).

For Miller and Rose (2008) this period represents an backslash to a more positive
recognition

of
the human component of work, while still maintaining that the workplace is a different arena
than the private or state
-
sector.
I
ssues

in relation to

task

execution and work outcome quality
were

assessed in psychological terms (Miller & Rose, p. 179). W
ork was not longer assigned to any
employee

coming up. Predominant became
a

best
-
fit approach


between individual worker
motivation and job
-
psychological profile. This means that a positive discrimination took place, in
which employees were gratified for
showing a c
ertain disposition to a given, desired behaviour
pattern that is required for a task (ibid., p. 179).

Another time we can observe the
i
mplementation of work structures that ‘make life’ live by
individuals’ compliance to a given set of rules tha
t are deemed useful for organisational survival.
Failure to comply with these made the individual worker subject to an increasing array of
psychological corrective measures. All of them seeking to re
-
establish work capacities of the
worker (ibid., 179
-
180)
.

3)

An additional period of HRM measures can be identified that ensued during the late seventies
and early eighties.
According to

Bratton and Gold
,

since the late sixties
,

there is an increasing
diversification of measure
s

mak
ing

it increasingly impossible pinpointing to one coherent set of
measures.
A

differentiation
of work structures pending on the

overall sector of industrial action
one is looking at. This means that in the field of Service Industries more and more “Business
P
rocess Re
-
engineering” (BPR)
actions
were taken, while in the manufacturing industries a re
-
fordisation
can

be observed (Bratton & Gold, 1900, pp. 106
-
112).



Irrespective of the approach taken, following Bratton and Gold, management control
and span of
control issues are still at the forefront of HRM policies. What differs, and
this is crucial for the rest of our current paper, is the emphasis that is put on ‘infor
-
matization’ (Dillon & Reid, 2009, p. 21). This infor
-
matization refers to the intensity of

ICT employment in organisations in order to maintain and establish a better resource
allocation (e.g. Dornier et al., 1998; Friedman, 2007). For Dillon and Reid

this term

of
‘infor
-
matization’

refers to a form of living of biological species
,

and how
to

m
ake sense
of them
,

and how they are also sought to be enhanced.
E
nhancement

of species

is

based
on the evaluation of their potential value in survival of species and its danger potential
for other species (Dillon & Reid, 2009, p.
20
)
. In this description t
he continuation of a
species, or its survival when speaking in strict biological terms, becomes dependent on
the curtailing of contingencies of life in its occurrence (ibid, p. 72
-
73).

With this layout of information technology and its correlation to

biopolitization


as
measure to control normality

we are back to the question
of how much governmentality
is underlying much of modern HRM measures (cp. Krone & Stenvall, 2012, 2).



I
NFORMATION SYSTEM IN ORGANISATION



Given the scope that we
elaborate the
impact of
HRM
governmentality in the field of ISD it deems
necessary developing the term of information system, and it relation to organi
sations nowadays.


Beynon
-
Davies (2002) stipulates that IS are supporting organisations in the execution

of their processes.
These are defined as “[…] a set of activities cutting across the major functional boundaries of

7

organisations by which organisations accomplish their missions, particularly the key one of delivering
value to the customer”(Beynon
-
Davie
s, 2002, pp. 256).

This
places

IS physically and logically in

an organisational setting



irrespective whether it might be an
informal institution or a manifested organisational body
. For Beynon
-
Davies “[a]n information system is a
system of communication
between

people. Information systems are systems involved in the gathering,
processing, distribution and use of information. Information systems support human activity systems”
(ibid., p. 4).
The
Human activities systems definition

provided resembles sufficiently the definition of
organisations so that we
take

these terms to be synonymous
.

Information System can be distinguished into several layers
. These layers are



-

the
infrastructure

one
, what is called generalised Information Co
mmunication Technology (in
general terms hardware like telephones, network switches, computers, etc., ICT), and

-

means

that are built onto this infrastructure, Information Systems (software, like nowadays
ubiquitous Office applications, but also large organisational software like Computer
Supported Cooperative work, MIS or ERP) (ibid., p. 6)

.


More and more over the lat
e nineties and early 21st century organisation have invested heavily in
particular into Information Systems that embed ICT department deeper into the organisation
. T
hereby
ICT are not anymore only support to business processes, rather these IS become part
and parcel of the
business process
. This allows

investigat
ing

innovation in organizations based on the intensity of how
much they align
business and IT (Swanson, 1994
)
. From this starting point three types of innovations can
be distinguished originat
ing

in

the support layer for the technical and administrative core (ibid., 1075).


-

One type of organisational innovations
effect

only the work within the ICT domain (Type I
innovation, for example technical innovations on the level of database structuring).

-

Software
applications easing the work
load of the ICT domain, by diminishing the level of
applications in the overall organisation, are a second class of ICT department induced
organisational innovation (e.g. application based pay role for employees, Type I
I innovations
that can imply Type I innovation limited to the ICT department).

-

A last type of organisational innovations originating in the ICT department, are software
applications that foster the generation of new products or services, and thereby tie th
e IT
domain into the value chain of the organisation (Type III innovation that mostly require Type
I and II innovation limited to the ICT department; typically these are MIS and ERP
applications).


Innovations that have departmental spanning characteristic
s are of Type II and III (cp. Krone, 2007, p.
107; Swanson, 1994, 1075
-
1078).


In line with the overall topic of this work stream, we can observe that innovation have manifold fields of
application
. O
ften these cause frictions and induce change across a variety of sectors that seem
unconnected.
W
e will show in the next chapter

that
the governmentality character
inherent to
HRM does
not diminish, but rather different layers of these build up to which st
aff has to comply and react too
(Krone & Stenvall, 2012).


ICT
AND SECURITY

-

HRM
IN PRACTICE



8

Requirements Engineering for IS

T
he work of SD, as result of its engineering background, has strived to reach a character in which outputs
are always alike for each delivery (Hamilton, 2007). To facilitate for this output continuity, different
methodologies of task execution are devised a
nd implemented. Most of these methodologies are used in
Requirements Engineering (RE), which is a sub
-
process of system development. RE is split into four
main phases that entail dedicated output expectations and procedures to be followed during
execution
.

These steps are 1) requirements elicitation, 2) analysis of these requirements, 3) specification of the to be
build application, and validation of the specifications with stakeholders (Al
-
Rawas & Easterbrook, 1999;
Nuseibeh & Easterbrook, 2000).

Each of t
hese phases has clearly defined outcomes

that are to be captured in given templates by following
a given process
. In this way a pattern is unveiled
resembling

securitization of life, because there are forms
of information capturing that

describe what is “n
ormal” and how this normality can be reached.
Conformity with
this process

is expected
. D
eviations are recognised and picked up as items for
discussions between managers and employees as this is conceived as breach of rule (Miller
&

Rose, 2008,
p. 107).


IS in globali
z
ed work

structures


As outlined in the description of this workshop stream we are living in a globalised econom
y

that g
ave

rise
to certain innovation in the production and delivery of goods and services. Information Systems used by
organisati
ons

to achieve and maintain this globalisation
have contributed to a
geographical
compressio
n
of
the
world, time and space

within and across organisations contributing to a given process
.
In this
development
IS
with both layers (infrastructure and software)
bec
ame

the

technological means to
maintain
and set
-
up
organizational production processes (Just
-
In
-
Time, Lean Management).

Infrastructural
devices

used to actualise these processes

are
e.g.
mobile phones, mobi
l
e computing and
cloud computing. Each of these devices allow

for intensified integration of employees into technology
processes itself (
for a similar view based on ERP
applications in commercial organisations Sia et.al. op.cit.;
Dillon
&

Reid, 2009, pp. 2
2).



In
these work structures
employee's are not enactors of structures, rather extensions to a process that
simply give an input so that the organisation can anonymously continue working (Miller
&

Rose, 2008, pp.
186
-
187). Task execution on the side of employees' is restricted to a very narrow band of options
.



Self
-
Enhancement as
part of security


As we have suggested modern organisations are largely driven by IS trying automat
ing

processes of value
creation as much as possible

across the globe and consequently irrespective of geographical and temporal
constrains.

In this guise elements of BPR
,

and its imprint on HRM measures
,

and
the consequent


infor
-
matization


are not random ev
ents

(e.g. Adler & Borys 1996; Sia et al. 2002; Kallinikos, 2004; Dillon & Reid, 2009, p.
21)
. Rather it seems that

a

script
’ is followed i
n which security on the side of the organisation is achieved
by either seeking staff
that
can deal with these shifti
ng work conditions

and work compression
, while
simultaneously seeking to enhance their own options for job utilization by the organization (Foucault,
2002a; Bröckling, 2007).


This self
-
enhancement is becoming more pronounced
,

as there has unfold
ed

an discourse that directly
pick
-
ups the ‘natural law’ ideas of early liberal thinking according to which there is an inherent

darwinistic


drive in market economies and survival


in the sense of making a positive life living


hinges
on best adaptation
to these conditions (Fach
, 2000; Bartmann, 2012
)
. Embedde
d in this overall discourse
of ‘
hardship


(Fach, 2000)
becomes apparent that biopolitics seemingly is a “premise” of organisational
structuring.

That

s
ecurity as premise of organisational structuring

is not even anymore consciously questioned

results
from the fact that
individual behaviour is already very much attuned to the corresponding devices of
surveillance and standardisation of

work of the organisation and the employee in it (Miller & Rose, 200
8,
p.

22).


9


Practical security

by HRM



ISD as consulting work


Deetz (1998) analysis of IT consulting observed features that clearly link
to
securitization.
This
securitization

can be

identified by
employees not report
ing

all their working times, as result of their
feelings of individual short
-
comings (lack of knowledge and errors) and thereby individually covering up.
Foucault in his lecture described such behaviour as an internalization of security mechanisms as result o
f
schooling and the general societal disciplinarization

(cp. previous chapter)
. Thereby the individual worker
becomes his own object of evaluation that has to render a return on investment (Foucault, 200
6b, pp. 312
-
318, esp. 314
-
16).
F
urthermore employees
did not report work issues affecting their relationship with
management. This is regarded as unprofessional work, even if the consequences were detrimental to the
observants’ own interests in many ways (Deetz, 1998, p. 158
-
59; cp. for a similar account Mil
ler & Rose,
2008.). Here is another instance in which the shift from general to individual security can be observed.
The employee internalizes side
-
effects of a work organisation that makes him suffering, because of ethics
of a job as well as general socie
tal and o
rganisational expectations (cp.
Miller & Rose, 2008
, pp.

90
-
2
f). In
Deetz
’ example work
became more securitized

because of organisational structuring in which
an inhouse
-
consulting department

is
competing with
an anonymous
external provider. Emplo
yees were pressurized to
work efficient and lean in order to maintain their job and the corporation. This caused an increase in
organizational tension, and on top for employees an increase in personal insecurity, as they never knew
whether the customer was

satisfied.

What becomes apparent is that IT consulting staff in that particular
setting, but also in general, is subjected to a situation where individually existing short
-
comings in
knowledge, complemented by highly individualized
opaque
customer needs become a measure to control
behaviour in corporate favourable ways (Curtis et. al.1988; Deetz, 1998).


C
ONCLUSIONS



S
OCIAL INNOVATION BEYOND SECURITY
DIALOGUES
?


Status quo of HRM


Unveiling the total
itarian character


Under c
onditions of

securitized work

structures that have shifted power relations

away from

the
individual employee
,

it is hardly surprising that employees have
chosen

largely to stay within “securitized”
work. Krone and Stenvall (2012) have shown for the field of ISD

that
i
ncreasing costs
are
associated with
this form of work render
ing these

unbearable due to the large impact these have in terms of long
-
term
stress and capabilities dealing with these imbalances.



What does this mean? Since the late nineties of the last
century there is an increasing stream of literature
examin
ing

how much of the current forms of work are impacting negatively theoretically on workforces
health (e.g. Ehrenberg, 2008 originally 1998; Bartmann, 2012). This
assumption has for example
material
ised
Germany

in that
health insurances are alarmed by the high and dramatic increases of work
induced psychological days of labour absenteeism and related increase
s

of severance (BKK, 2012 for the
calendar year 2011)
.
I
n
detailed analysis the

study

conclu
d
es

that work conditions as described above can
be attributed to a degree to this surge in work related psychological disorders.

They

are caused by a less and less clear demarcation between work and spare time, in which employees
also have to be available f
or job matters in their spare
-
t
ime to take job related calls. According
to GPs
the
high
-
level of psychological stress
is result of
work compression, competition, over long working hours.
These trends are enhanced
,

by precarious job
-
opportunities

and part
-
time jobbing that have been known
to impact negatively on psychological health for some time (
BKK, 2012
).


So, what does this mean in relation to the first research question?

When HRM is nowadays oriented to bring employees to regard themselves as entrepreneurs that need to
deliver a revenue based on their pure existence, and this against more and more blurry regulations are
allowing anything and nothing, HRM measures are almos
t
achieving ‘
totality
’ in their control of the
employee
.


10

They not only bind the employee by the working contract to the organization against wage, they also seek
to have control on the employees’ psyche to deliver organizationally fitting results (Fach, 2
000;
Bröckling,
2007;
Bartm
ann, 2012
)
. What is common to all these authors is their pin
-
pointing to a process in which
the individual employees is not that anymore
;

he is
replaced by
what
Bröckling calls euphemistic the
“entrepreneurial self ”.

This self plays its central role
of being
employee of the self, while not allowing the employee to rest.

We


as entrepreneur of ourselves are subjecting ourselves to market fitting behaviour. The grounds for
behaviour are defined in target agreements between employer organisation and myself as entrepreneur of
my self. This means that dissent to work orders is al
ways directed against myself and thus the choice is
either to fall out of the schema of normality, or to play the game and integrate myself into a schema of
work in which no true or wrong exist (Bartmann, 2012).

This means that goal achievement for
gratif
ication

from employer is more and more an act of courtesy
then that
planable

criteria exist that would allow to rationally deal with
self given energy resources

to
achieve these given goals directly.

Based on this insecurity of goal achievement the “entrep
reneurial self ”
does what we Deetz describes in his case study of IT consulting: the employee takes his shortcomings for
granted, and pays a bonus to his employer.

HRM under this perspective is not a neutral, employee friendly role in the organisation. Ra
ther it has
moved into a position in which the always present desire of the organisation for omnipotence across the
employee is manifesting itself. HRM has become a “totalitarian” device that ties the entrepreneurial
-
self
into the organisational design lik
e a component, and rewards benevolent behaviour on the side of the
employee to the organisation


on a limited, intransparent scale (Dueck, 2004).


Transcending security induced HRM?

When ways are sought that can deliver social innovation that go beyond
current practices that are
unconsciously premised on security dialogues
,

we might need to go back to the starting point of this
paper.
W
e suggested that rationality
as

device

to overcome a crisis in which the human being was
considered
unable to find truth
, and thus methodology and rationality were brought as measures to learn
reasoning. When also in this point security takes its origin

we might to have to go back to this origin of
rationality and emergence of organisations.


This means that we need to understand and argue rationally that neither markets nor organisations serve a
purpose on their own, but only when considering the

raison
-
d’etre


for their emergence in the first
instance: how to manage skilfully without a state

of nature human interactions. It is against this
background that we suggest that
institutional

desig
n for organisation
s
,

and thus also HRM
,

should be
directed by a concern about the purpose of the organisation or institution at hand (Goodin, 1996
, pp. 22
-
4
).


This

means that we agree that human behaviour is subject to deceit, it is subject to cheating. However
,

likewise our argument suggests that potentially these patterns of behaviour occur, because the underlying
organisation does not reward in a suffic
ient way our subjective

human

needs
. When thinking this
argument through a full array of argument and options for structuring social innovation can be first
theoretically imagined, of which only a few realistically have chances for fitting the market for w
hich they
were made (cp. our discussion of innovation given above).

But when we stipulate that institutions are there to regulate human behaviour, and that HRM as such is
part to another, or even an institution of its own right, then we can start thinking how security induced
measures in HRM today really are able to provid
e value to human interactions in organisations or markets.
The answer is they are not.

The authors

suggest using as heuristic measure for social innovation development a yardstick that rests on
humans themselves, even when
this imply
negat
ing

a strong emp
irical
-
rational approach. With such a
human centred
derived yardstick for usefulness we can start thinking about practices that really allow for
solidarity creation, that foster social
-
inclusion.
M
uch of this debate has occurred also during the nineties
of

the last century and the first decade of this century.
As humans we

have become, when interested in
those topics, much more knowledgeable on the ways in which current practices shape and foster addiction
to consumption to
feel less tolerant in respect to
others.
W
e learnt how even under conditions of full
participation in the market humans did not become satisfied because consumption, as driver of markets,
on a
longer
-
term

perspective cannot replace
joy for
satisfaction (Scitovsky,

1992
)
.


11

But we have
learnt that human behaviour is driven to some extent by expectations of fairness

(the whole
debate on the psychological contract, eg. Robinson,1996
;

Rous
seau
, 1993; Meckler et.al. 2003)
, mutuality
of behaviour

based on knowledge of each other background (e
.g. Clark, 1996;
Rifkin, 2009;
Krone &
Syväjärvi, 2011

for the field of ISD
)
.



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