Doing the right thing? HRM and the angry knowledge worker


Cushen J & Thompson P (2012) Doing the right thing? HRM and the angry knowledge worker. New Technology, Work and Employment, 27 (2), pp. 79-92.

This paper explores the relationship between human resource (HR) practices, commitment, work and employment relations. Drawing on an in-depth ethnography of knowledge workers within a global, high-technology, knowledge-intensive firm, the paper offers a multidimensional understanding of structures of influence and of commitment that interact in distinctive ways to shape the employee experience. In examining the context and content of ‘best practice' HR in a ‘celebrated', leading-edge company, we have offered a more complex, grounded picture of the intent and outcome of commitment-seeking policies. The paper demonstrates that, contrary to mainstream and critical scholarship, skilled technical workers in knowledge-intensive firms can be uncommitted, angry and high performing at the same time.

commitment; financialisation; HRM; identity; knowledge work; normative control

New Technology, Work and Employment: Volume 27, Issue 2

Publication date31/07/2012