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Title: Work intensity in the software industry : incidence and impact on professional software workers
Author: Lee, Saira Reid
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 4381
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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Various trends can be seen to characterise the 'new' economy, including globalisation, networking, competition, ICTs and transformations in forms of work organisation. Notably, it is claimed that these trends may encourage self-management, peer pressure, the expansion of workloads and greater expenditure of work effort, with implications for experiences of work intensity (Bittman et al, 2009; O'Riain, 2006; Green, 2006, 2004, 2001; Thompson and McHugh, 2002; Findlay et al, 2000; Springer, 1999; Tomaney, 1990). This thesis aims to explore whether software professionals are necessarily immune from experiences of work intensity, due to their positioning as archetypal knowledge workers (Baldry et al, 2007, 2005; Newell et al, 2002; Alvesson, 1995; Kunda, 1992) and their role in creating a technology which has applicability to virtually all work, business and social situations (Scotland IS: Innovation and Skills in Scotland, 2008; Freeman and Perez, 1998; Quintas, 1994). This thesis has utilised a contextually-based, qualitative, in-depth comparative case study approach, in order to identify and explain the linkages, mechanisms and relationships which influence and shape software professionals' experiences of work intensity. This thesis makes an original contribution through identifying that professional software workers are subject to work intensity from diverse sources. Notably, advances in ICTs, globalisation, flexibility and developments in the software industry have had implications for software professionals' experiences of work intensity. Contextual elements, such as market dynamics, firm characteristics and internal organisational factors influence experiences of work intensity. In addition, aspects of the software labour process, including deadlines, project team structures, specialist knowledge, interruptions, normative control, breaks and worker agency, have implications for software professionals' experiences of work intensity. Finally, the development of a taxonomy of professional software job roles and the utilisation of the work diary study within this PhD have provided comprehensive insight into the tasks and activities performed by individuals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available