Shifting subjectivities: Experiences of agency and well-being in connected organisations

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dc.contributor.advisor Plester, B en
dc.contributor.advisor Delaney, H en Obushenkova, Elena en 2020-04-02T01:55:02Z en 2020 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Changes and advancements in communication technologies have been praised for enabling workers to complete their job tasks anywhere and at any time. However, recent studies on connectivity find that people have different preferences for how connected they remain after assigned work hours. Organisational studies have not yet considered what the increasingly connected workplace means for worker control or agency over their personal connectivity, and what kind of implications can arise from agentic and non-agentic experiences for workers. Past studies treat agency as a static duality, however, it can be profoundly influenced by various intrapersonal and interpersonal elements, which are currently being altered in part due to increasing connectivity across all aspects of life. This research explores how workers in connected organisations experience agency and what this means for their subjective well-being. In particular, this study focuses on how connectivity can influence worker affect or emotions and satisfaction as these workers experience shifts in connective agency. This research implements a qualitative, interpretive approach and recruits participants with semi-mobile jobs in three organisations that provide smartphones to their employees and their managers. Data is collected using semi-structured interviews, diary studies and follow-up member checking interviews. The findings show that workers in connected organisations can experience three different subjective experiences of agency. These are termed as ‘abundant’, ‘absent’ and ‘ambiguous’. When workers are feeling in control of their connectivity, are able to work flexibly, and have perceived social support, they experience abundant agency. Absent agency arises when workers experience a lack of control, feel pressured through concertive control, engage in addictive connectivity behaviours, and perceive an inability to prioritise family or non-work relationships. Ambiguous agency experiences occur when workers engage in habitual behaviours, hold contradictory beliefs, experience blurred time boundaries, and when they feel like they are under surveillance. For workers in this study, states of subjective well-being mirror their agency experiences and these states are identified as ‘enhanced well-being’, ‘eroded well-being’ and ‘equivocal well-being’. This research contributes new theoretical knowledge on agency in regard to workplace connectivity and its relationship with worker well-being. The study offers an extended conceptualisation of connective agency comprising three novel types of agentic experiences in relation to connectivity. As well as a theoretical contribution, this study identifies implications for organisations that provide smartphones to their employees, showing that mobile technologies can influence affective states, behaviours, and wellbeing of workers. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Shifting subjectivities: Experiences of agency and well-being in connected organisations en
dc.type Thesis en Management and International Business en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 797235 en Business and Economics en Management & Intl Business en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2020-04-02 en

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