Control in the era of surveillance capitalism: an empirical investigation of Italian Industry 4.0 factories

Jacopo Staccioli, Maria Enrica Virgillito, Angelo Moro, Matteo Rinaldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We explore the extent to which the current technological trend, dubbed Industry 4.0, might increase forms of control inside organisations, by focussing on pivotal firms in the so-called Italian Motor Valley currently embracing its adoption. We find that Industry 4.0 technologies open up great possibilities for incorporating the three forms of control identified by Orlikowski (Account Manag Inf Technol 1(1):9–42, https://doi.org/10.1016/0959-8022(91)90011-3, 1991), i.e. personal, bureaucratic, and social, into technological artefacts, often blending them together. If, on the one hand, this implies a technical and theoretical feasibility of enforcing forms of ‘Big Brother’ surveillance within the boundaries of organisations, and thereby of the workplace, on the other hand, the actual achievement of these possibilities depends on the organisational environment within which the new technologies are implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-360
Number of pages14
JournalEconomia e Politica Industriale
Volume46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Control
  • Industry 4.0
  • Organisational change
  • Saturation of working time

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