To read this content please select one of the options below:

The Network-Organized Labor Process: Control and Autonomy in Web Production Work

Networks, Work and Inequality

ISBN: 978-1-78190-539-5, eISBN: 978-1-78190-540-1

Publication date: 8 April 2013


Purpose – Addresses labor control in fields where familiar organizational and occupational controls are weak, notably postindustrial arenas characterized by networks, heterogeneity, and change.Methodology/approach – Proposes that labor control operates via socio-technical networks composed of diverse ties to social actors, technologies, and typifications. Data from an interview-based study of early website production work is used to examine the impact of such a network.Findings – Socio-technical networks constrained web workers#x02019; actions but also offered opportunities for autonomous discretion. Some shifting between networked and hierarchical controls occurred in larger organizations.Research implications/limitations – The role of networks in the labor process is not well understood; this study provides a starting point.Social implications – Socio-technical networks are heterogeneous and lack common status metrics, making inequality among workers difficult to gauge and address. Further, since networked controls are decentralized, their pressures are not easily identified or resisted by workers.Originality/value – This chapter describes a form of labor control that may characterize some postindustrial fields more closely than traditional models. In addition, it contributes new insights on how work is shaped by technical networks and abstract typifications.



Damarin, A.K. (2013), "The Network-Organized Labor Process: Control and Autonomy in Web Production Work", Mcdonald, S. (Ed.) Networks, Work and Inequality (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 177-205.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited