The transformation of work: A critical examination of the new organizational paradigm

1997 1997

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

This dissertation seeks to examine the claim that contemporary industrial societies are witnessing a fundamental transformation in the nature of work leading to the advent of a new organizational paradigm. This research contends that while the new paradigm does exhibit significant breaks from the ways of organizing in the past, the change is by no means all embracing. A critical examination of the new paradigm must therefore attempt to focus attention on not just the transformation but also the continuities that persist from the past.

This dissertation project has three inter-related components. First, it constructs a historiography in an attempt to offer an explanation of the shift from the old to the new organizational paradigm. Drawing upon literatures from multiple disciplines, it scrutinizes the claim of the transformation of work and identifies the changes and the continuities across the paradigmatic divide.

Second, it uses the empirical sites of two software consulting firms--one at Silicon Valley and one at New York City--in order to examine the transformation of work at a leading edge of change. Through participant observation at the research sites and interviews with managers, programmers and end-clients, it examines the ruptures from earlier forms of work in the context of the software industry paying particular attention to the nature of the changing technologies, the local and the international division of labor, and the changing contours of space and time that accompany the transformation of work.

Third, it constructs and tests two sets of hypotheses. One attempts to explore the nature of various forms of work commitment demonstrated by the growing assembly of the contingent workers of the new paradigm while the other focuses on the division of labor and the fragmentation of work in the organizations of the present.

Through these three stages, this dissertation attempts to contribute to a more complex understanding of the issues around the transformation of work and to subject the discourse of the new organizational paradigm to critical scrutiny.

Indexing (details)

Occupational psychology
0454: Management
0624: Occupational psychology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Psychology; Fordism; Postfordism; contingent work; software industry
The transformation of work: A critical examination of the new organizational paradigm
Mir, Ali Husain
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 58/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780591598339, 0591598337
Karren, Ronald J.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.