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Title: Electronic performance monitoring : the crossover between self-discipline and emotion management
Author: Nicolaou, Nicos
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis studies the crossover between self-discipline and emotion management in an electronic performance monitoring (EPM) setting. The intersection between these two elements is explained in terms of six main themes: control, power and discipline; compliance, conformity and resistance; rationality, performance standards and corrective action; emotional labour and the management of emotions; society, responsibility and accountability; and subjectivity, internalisation and the self. These main themes emerged from interview data and are supported by the literature. A qualitative methodology was adopted to support a social constructionist perspective. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from a single case study organisation, and thematic coding was used for analysis. EPM systems installed in the case study call centre are used to control agents’ behaviour, embedding in their minds the importance of controlling and disciplining their own behaviour. They are forced by EPM to manage their own emotions and conform to the rules of the system through self-discipline. Nevertheless, some find it difficult constantly to suppress their emotions and may exhibit resistance. There is a preoccupation with self-correction. Agents internalise the call centre's norms of behavior. The technological environment largely determines the way in which they manage their emotions. They fake their emotions when interacting with callers, supervisors and colleagues, and exercise self-discipline and emotion management to satisfy personal and group expectations. They incorporate the cultural values, motives and beliefs of the EPM context through learning, socialisation and identification. This thesis offers significant theoretical contributions which revolve around the relationship between surveillance-induced self-discipline and emotional labour over time. It aims to alert academics and business people to the problems of emotional labour and to prompt them to make changes to the design, implementation and use of EPM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)