Empty Labor: Idleness and Workplace Resistance

  • 4h 53m
  • Roland Paulsen
  • Cambridge University Press
  • 2014

While most people work ever-longer hours, international statistics suggest that the average time spent on non-work activities per employee is around two hours a day. How is this possible, and what are the reasons behind employees withdrawing from work? In this thought-provoking book, Roland Paulsen examines organizational misbehavior, specifically the phenomenon of 'empty labor', defined as the time during which employees engage in private activities during the working day. This study explores a variety of explanations, from under-employment to workplace resistance. Building on a rich selection of interview material and extensive empirical research, it uses both qualitative and quantitative data to present a concrete analysis of the different ways empty labor unfolds in the modern workplace. This book offers new perspectives on subjectivity, rationality and work simulation and will be of particular interest to academic researchers and graduate students in organizational sociology, organization studies, and human resource management.

About the Author

ROLAND PAULSEN is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Business Administration, Lund University. Dr Paulsen has received several awards for his work, notably from the Nordic Sociological Association and the International Labor Process Conference. His first book : Hur Arbetet Överlevde Teknologin [The Society of Labor: How Labor Survived Technology] stirred up a national debate in Sweden on the meaning of work.

In this Book

  • Introduction
  • Power at Work
  • Subjectivity at Work
  • Mapping Out Empty Labor
  • How to Succeed at Work without Really Trying
  • The Time-Appropriating Subject
  • The Organization of Idleness
  • Resistance Incorporated?
  • Conclusion