Towards a Nuanced Understanding of 21st-century Workplaces : Broadening the Configurational Perspectives of Organizational Control and Trust of Leaders

Item Type Thesis (Doctoral)
Abstract The overall aim of this dissertation is to contribute to a nuanced understanding of 21st-century workplaces. To this end, a four-field matrix is set up to map their variety according to the importance leaders attach to (1) new technology control systems and (2) employees trust in the employer (Das & Teng, 1998; Das & Teng, 2001). With this, I acknowledge that organizational control and trust form two major building blocks of workplaces. I suggest that the duality of these two concepts (see Weibel, 2007) will be critical for their effective functioning, even in the 21st-century. More precisely, this dissertation comprises three research papers shedding light on new workplace phenomena from the first three quadrants of this matrix. Furthermore, the papers add value to configurational control and trust theory as well as to a broadening of empirical research methods towards more radical and innovative qualitative endeavors, strongly called for by Phan and colleagues (2017), von Krogh (2018) or Bamberger (2018). Briefly, the first paper analyzes how new technologies alter or transform organizational control. Through an explorative morphological analysis, a framework is presented, that depicts how new technologies broaden and transform the scope of organizational control. Further, it enables researchers to analyze how trust-promoting new technology control configurations look like. The second paper investigates how organizational members perceive workplaces, which are deeply permeated with new technologies. Results from an explorative single embedded case study design show that new technology controls and high trust can coexist, even though control enactment is automatized and perceived as a novel actor in the workplace. The third paper studies how leaders actively develop trust in their employees. By means of an explorative mixed-methods study, the paper reveals four discernible strategies, how leaders effectively come to trust their employees; including means of control. In summary, the results of this dissertation help to disenchant the myth of robots as novel bosses as cinematically anticipated by Steven Spielberg. Additionally, they outline fruitful ways, how 21st-century workplaces can remain a human place where new technology control and trust can vividly coexist.
Authors Schafheitle, Simon Daniel
Referent Weibel, Antoinette (Prof. Dr.) (Referent) & Sitkin, Sim (Prof. PhD) (Koreferent)
Language English
Keywords Arbeitsorganisation; Arbeitsgestaltung; Zukunft; Computer Supported Cooperative Work; Vertrauen; Personalkontrolle; EDIS-4963; Mixed-Methods Forschungsdesigns; Personalsteuerung; Qualitative Forschung; Qualitative Research; Organizational Control; Konfigurationentheorie; Configurational Theory; Mixed-Methods Research Designs; Kontrolle; 21st-century Workplaces; Trust; Arbeitsplätze des 21. Jahrhunderts
Subjects economics
HSG Classification not classified
HSG Profile Area None
Date 17 February 2020
Publisher Universität St. Gallen
Place of Publication St.Gallen
Depositing User Ruedi Lindegger
Date Deposited 17 Mar 2022 15:06
Last Modified 17 Mar 2022 15:06


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Schafheitle, Simon Daniel: Towards a Nuanced Understanding of 21st-century Workplaces : Broadening the Configurational Perspectives of Organizational Control and Trust of Leaders. Thesis, 2020.

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