The aim of this activity is to get you to think how the data collected at a person’s place of employment could be used against them.
By the end of this task you will:
-Have given some thought to the data that is naturally collected at a person’s place of employment.
-Have had the opportunity to compare and discuss your opinions with peers in your discussion group.
-Read Baker Stephen (2009). They’ve got your number…Data, Digits and Destiny.
-Answer the following question: Being judged as a number in a ‘portfolio of workers’ and being quantitatively assessed on your performance and being monitored by the digital audit trail captured on your computer – is this the way forward that employers should promote (or demote) their employees in the future? Discuss.
(Reference Appendix: Some quotes.)
Final Task: Post your answers to everyone in your discussion group.
Assessment: The Discussion Board Activities contribute 30% of your module mark. This Activity is the second of 3 Activities and contributes 10% of the module mark.
Your tutor will observe the ‘discussion threads’ in your group and will assess your individual contribution by: observing the answers to Activity 3 that you have posted to your discussion group and monitoring the constructive critique developed when you are comparing your answers to your peers answers in the discussion group.
Appendix: Some quotes from Baker (2009).
-Ref p28“After all, each lazy or incompetent worker who survives in the mathematically assessed workplace represents a market inefficiency. Once the measurements are in place, these workers will presumably plunge in value or be purged, just like an underperforming stock in a portfolio.”
-Ref p35“The interpretation of our social networks is an exploding field of research. Online calendars show how employees use their time and who they meet with. By tracking the use of cell phones and handheld computers, researchers may be able to map the workers movements. Call records and e-mails define the social networks of each consultant – who do they copy on their e-mails? Do they send blind copies to anyone? These hidden messages could point to the growth of informal networks within the company.”
-Ref p37“They can map each person’s circle of contacts. They can also see how communications shift with time. They can also spot outliers, people who aren’t communicating much with anyone. These employees are worth scrutinising: they may be depressed or about to leave, or even consorting with the competition.”