Managerial and organisational research has typically emphasised that the control of the worker is necessary to ensure the success of the organisation.
Studies have also revealed that the enforcement of similar modes of control often appears to yield contradictory outcomes in different settings, yet critical literature has offered little theory as to why this is. Understanding workers various responses is vital, as it informs an understanding of how and why control is accepted or resisted at different times in contemporary organisations.
Critical literature does, however, illuminate important considerations in understanding workers diverse responses: workers may willingly reproduce modes of control which they interpret as compatible with their self- identity, and as important in sustaining their autonomous sense of self.
These considerations inform Professor Michael Gill’s paper ‘The Significance of Suffering in Organizations: understanding variation in workers’ responses to multiple modes of control’, the findings of which reconcile several divergent findings across different streams of critical research.