‘We’re not run on Numbers, We’re People, We’re Emotional People’: Exploring the experiences and lived consequences of emerging technologies, organizational surveillance and control among elite professionals

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The deployment of digital technologies and data analytics within contemporary organizations are continually seeking to capture vast reams of information to shape employee performance and guide behaviour. However, there is a need to further advance our understanding of the effects and unintended consequences of these technologies within differing organizational contexts. Drawing on the experiences of members connected to a UK-based professional Rugby Union club, we focus on the impact of emerging technologies and ubiquitous surveillance practices in governing employee behaviour, shifting workplace boundaries and providing the ability to resist a mode of organizational control governed by data analytics. Specific emphasis is placed upon exposing the lived consequences and tensions that emerge among employees subjected to an intensive mode of organizational surveillance. In doing so, this study highlights the manner in which emerging technologies and surveillance practices may contribute towards feelings of anxiety, precariousness and performance fatigue among their employees. Through this analysis, we aim to provide a critical understanding of managerial and leadership techniques of control, surveillance and knowledge production that may prove relevant for future research in wider organizational settings shaped by technological transformations and new forms of data-driven management.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date6 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Dec 2019

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