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Despotism on DemandHow Power Operates in the Flexible Workplace$
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Alex J. Wood

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748875

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748875.001.0001

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Despotic Time in the U.S.

Despotic Time in the U.S.

Undermining Worker Organization

(p.90) 4 Despotic Time in the U.S.
Despotism on Demand

Alex J. Wood

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the existence of internal labor markets at ConflictCo, looking at flexible scheduling in this workplace regime. While workers at PartnershipCo experienced little employment insecurity, this was not the case at ConflictCo. It was clear that workers at ConflictCo were highly fearful of losing their jobs. This was a consequence of ConflictCo's internal state, which made use of “at-will employment,” meaning that there was no redundancy policy, and managers were free to decide themselves which workers to keep on. Those who lost their jobs received no redundancy pay or notice. There was, therefore, a great deal of employment insecurity among the informants. If flexible discipline is found to be central to the operation of control at ConflictCo, despite the availability of traditional forms of discipline, then it significantly strengthens the case that this is a vital feature of workplace regimes in the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   internal labor markets, ConflictCo, flexible scheduling, employment insecurity, at-will employment, redundancy policy, workplace control, flexible discipline

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