No stone left standing? Understanding the impact of technology on established modes of organizational control.
The goal of this paper is to develop an empirically grounded framework to analyze how new technologies alter or expand traditional organizational control configurations. New technologies for data gathering, analysis, interpretation and learning are increasingly applied in the workplace. Technology suppliers are developing and aggressively marketing solutions for employee management and control with growing interest. Yet detailed insight about the effects of these technologies on traditional control is lacking. To convey a better understanding about new technologies in employee management and control, this paper proposes a “New Technology Control Framework” on the basis of an iterative research design. The framework is anchored in the configurational control theory, drawing on empirical insights of research on electronic performance monitoring and enhanced 26 topic-guided interviews with experts, who either produce new technological control solutions or apply these. The prototype of a morphology of new technology control configurations (NTCCs) is refined through expert workshops and undergoes plausibility checks with users. The final framework is composed of eleven distinct, yet interrelated conceptual building blocks. The framework offers a first point of orientation to systematically analyze key implications for theory and practice for turning NTCC into a productive force for organizational control. It indicates which elements a configurational theory of organizational control should address in the digital age, to assist decision makers to strategically implement, customize off-the-shelf products and manage digitalization at the workplace. The results offer a conducive starting point for a range of scientific discourses in multiple fields by contributing to understanding how technological progress and digital transformation influence organizations.
contribution to scientific community
OMTF 2018 PhD Seminar on Organizations, Management and Theories of the Firm