The significance of work-related blogs and new work-based technology

Forgive me as I indulge in how I am beginning to make sense of the significance of blogs in a work-related sense!

Blogs versus official images of organizational life

Not surprisingly, most organizations would probably be uncomfortable if individuals were allowed to tell unauthorised accounts of how they experience their daily working life. To me that is the essence of work-related blogs. So-called progressive employers are beginning to allow their employees to blog about work, but there are often reasonable as well as arbitrary limits imposed on the content of such blogs. In other words, employers love censorship and blogging is not going to change an age old tradition that easily. I believe work-related blogs challenge organizations wishing to portray a particular image to the outside world. In other words, blogs are a new way in which bloggers can contest how working lives are either portrayed by their employer, or, is a way to overcome the way in which employers censor the world of work.

New communication technology - the new contested terrain between employer and employee

Most radical accounts of organizational behaviour emphasise the struggle between employers and employees at two distinct levels. One is control of the labour process and how human labour is harnessed in the creation of products and services for human need. At more of a micro-level, the contestation takes the form of employee identity and subjectivity, i.e. HR initiatives to win 'hearts and minds' and putting the emphasis on seducing rather than directly control the employees.

I believe a key feature of the modern labour process increasingly involves a struggle between employers and employees over the endemic introduction of new technologies to keep businesses profitable, help diversify product and service range, de-skill labour, etc. The main thing is that even in the most extreme circumstances, such technology can be utilised for purposes other than initially intended. A simple example is that email can be used for both business and personal use. Therefore, whenever new technology is introduced into the workplace, employers face a struggle to ensure that the technology is used appropriately. In reality, a balance needs to be struck between what the technology has been bought for and how it actually gets used. Blogs are just one part of this on-going process.

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