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Introduction to the special issue: The Enactment of Neoliberalism in the Workplace: The Degradation of the Employment Relationship

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E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>5/11/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Competition & Change
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date5/11/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article introduces readers to the special issue on 'the enactment of neoliberalism in the workplace'. We argue that contemporary developments such as zero-hours contracts, casualisation and platform work are part of a neoliberal regime of deregulation and flexibilization that renders employment precarious and work degraded. Thus, the degradation of work that Braverman wrote of should be extended to include aspects of the employment relationship, acknowledging the crucial relationship between the mode of employment and the experience of work. In short, we assert that the quality of work is intimately connected to the quality of employment. The neoliberal agenda is played out in and around organizations through management decisions on employment and work, which, in turn, have significant and complex connections to a range of wider social, economic and political issues, such as poverty, and welfare systems. The articles in our special issue explore and analyse several dimensions of the changes taking place and whilst present a rather gloomy view of contemporary work and employment they do demonstrate continued scope for resistance.