By Chris Baldry
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Extra resources for The Meaning of Work in the New Economy
The ‘differentiation of demand’ which emerged from the new cult of the customer has helped to shape the nature of work relationships within contemporary organizations (du Gay and Salaman, 1992). In particular, the delivery of the two new iconic values of ‘quality,’ in both production and services, and ‘ﬂexibility’ in just about everything, was perceived to depend on changing the subjective orientation of the employee to the organization through the manipulation of the concepts of commitment and the psychological contract.
The Scottish software supply industry typiﬁes the diversity of organizations employing IT developers. These include independent houses, often ownermanaged, providing customized packages for other organizations. Large concentrations of software engineers are also found in organizational subsections of ﬁnance, public service, telecommunications and other sectors. The Labour Force Survey 2000 estimated some 9,000 computer systems managers, 14,600 software engineers and 19,000 computer analysts employed in Scotland, with software divisions of large organizations representing 45 per cent, and individual contractors and sole traders accounting for 17 per cent of the workforce (ONS, 2000b).
At an ideological level, its assumptions permeate government policy so that economic success and prosperity, fundamentally, were and remain predicated upon the ability of the UK’s knowledge-intensive industries to compete within global market places. More tangibly, the relocation of IT-services and business processes, from the developed to developing world had begun to impact upon both of our sectors. The outsourcing of various software processes to India had been a growing trend throughout the 1990s whilst, at the commencement of our research, call centre offshoring from the UK had yet to take off (Taylor and Bain, 2005).