Neoliberalism at Work

Organizational decision-makers increasingly promote neoliberal work practices, which emphasize market processes and unrestricted deployment of organizational resources, as a means to optimize economic performance in an intensely competitive environment. A growing number of sociologists have raised questions about their tactics and pointed to negative consequences for employee well-being. We expand on this literature by using content-coded data on 217 work groups to investigate implications of neoliberalism at work for the well-being of workers and firms. We especially emphasize on how neoliberal practices influence relationships and day-to-day behaviors that underwrite organizational functioning and success. Findings indicate negative ramifications, including increases in turnover and quitting, and reductions in informal peer training and effort as well as job quality. Importantly, these associations are net of any secular time trend. Qualitative materials capture how and why these relations exist and additional consequences with strong potential to undermine foundations for prosperity and future organizational success.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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