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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2013

W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay

The purpose of this paper is to examine how corporate social responsibility (CSR) transparency claims are propagating a belief in a modern panopticon for ensuring…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how corporate social responsibility (CSR) transparency claims are propagating a belief in a modern panopticon for ensuring responsible corporate behavior. Corporations use transparency claims to cultivate the impression of full disclosure. The paper aims to explore why people believe transparency ensures responsible behavior from corporations as well as the negative effects of this pseudo‐panopticon.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores transparency in relation to CSR, CSR reporting, the internet, and activism and describes how their confluence produces pseudo‐panopticon.

Findings

The paper finds that the pseudo‐panopticon allows corporations to claim transparency in CSR communication and for stakeholders to accept that claim. The reality is that a minority of activist stakeholders bear the burden of ensuring true transparency by questioning disclosure.

Social implications

Transparency should be seen as a process, and it fails if activists cannot create public awareness of CSR shortcomings. The challenge is to find ways to make transparency as a process work in a world where apathy and self‐deception, in part facilitated by the pseudo‐panopticon, work against the process.

Originality/value

The paper builds on the process view of transparency by developing its implications for CSR communication. The result is a novel approach to CSR reporting and transparency that contributes to other critical voices concerned about the value and effects of CSR communication.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

Mark Hughes

The research is based upon HRM and technological changes and explanations of these changes offered to employees in the “big four” clearing banks between 1990 and 1994. The…

Abstract

The research is based upon HRM and technological changes and explanations of these changes offered to employees in the “big four” clearing banks between 1990 and 1994. The specific aim of this paper is to suggest that the metaphor of the panopticon aids our understanding of changes in banking in the 1990s. The essence of the panopticon is caught by Foucault in the following quote:

Details

Management Research News, vol. 19 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Siew Kien Sia and Boon Siong Neo

This paper aims to clarify the apparent confusion on the work impacts of business process re‐engineering (BPR), specifically, the level of empowerment and work monitoring…

3079

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to clarify the apparent confusion on the work impacts of business process re‐engineering (BPR), specifically, the level of empowerment and work monitoring, through the conceptual lens of Panopticon.

Design/methodology/approach

An intensive case study at the Singapore Internal Revenue Services was conducted. Ninety‐nine employees were also surveyed on their perceived empowerment and work‐monitoring pre‐ and post‐BPR.

Findings

The findings revealed intense work monitoring in the post‐BPR environment. For the redesign of routine processes, tighter work monitoring is coupled with continuous efforts to formalize behaviors, leaving little need or scope for real empowerment. Greater empowerment is evident only in the redesign of non‐routine processes, through a Panopticon‐like combination of greater empowerment and higher work monitoring.

Research limitations/implications

The research suggests the applicability of Panopticon as a conceptual lens in understanding and reconciling the apparent contradictions greater empowerment and heightened work monitoring in reengineered workplace. It suggests the need for future research to begin bridging the disparate empowerment and control literature.

Practical implications

The study shows practitioners how they can leverage the discipline of visibility to orchestrate control creatively in a reengineered environment. The glimpses of post‐BPR workplace also help managers to better anticipate change management issues.

Originality/value

The paper addresses an important issue of BPR work impacts. Its suggestion of Panopticon as a conceptual lens also provides a refreshing look at the traditional issues in BPR.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

R.V. Jackson

Bentham’s penal theory persuaded him that convict transportation was inherently inferior to imprisonment as a punishment for serious crime. The transportation of convicts…

1443

Abstract

Bentham’s penal theory persuaded him that convict transportation was inherently inferior to imprisonment as a punishment for serious crime. The transportation of convicts to New South Wales also threatened his plans to build a panopticon penitentiary. This penitentiary, he thought, would demonstrate the superiority of a prison run for profit by a private contractor over alternative schemes of convict management. In the process, it would also make him a fortune. His repeated attempts to persuade the British Government to abandon the New South Wales penal colony and to honour its commitment to his panopticon project, however, came to nothing. Neither the Government’s acceptance of Bentham’s key theoretical arguments nor its avowed support for his penitentiary scheme was sufficient to prompt it to act. Bentham found that winning the main theoretical argument was not enough. He was continually forced to concentrate on side issues and on particular and largely incidental matters of fact. As it turned out, the particular and the incidental combined to carry the day against his panopticon.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 25 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Martin De Saulles and David S. Horner

The purpose of this paper is to explore ethical issues arising from the mass deployment and take‐up of mobile technologies.

1553

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore ethical issues arising from the mass deployment and take‐up of mobile technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The ethical dimensions of mobile technologies and their use among the general population are considered within a conceptual framework drawing on James Moor's belief in a need for “better ethics” for emerging technologies and Michel Foucault's development of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon as a tool of surveillance.

Findings

It is found that the mass deployment and use of mobile technologies amongst the general population raise some interesting questions about the changing nature of surveillance and the ethical issues that come out of this.

Originality/value

The paper offers an original perspective on the ethical issues arising from new mobile technologies and surveillance by inverting the established top‐down notion of technology and control derived from Foucault.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 29 February 2008

Benoît Dupont

Surveillance studies scholars have embraced Foucault's panopticon as a central metaphor in their analysis of online monitoring technologies, despite several architectural…

Abstract

Surveillance studies scholars have embraced Foucault's panopticon as a central metaphor in their analysis of online monitoring technologies, despite several architectural incompatibilities between eighteenth and nineteenth century prisons and twenty-first century computer networks. I highlight a number of Internet features that highlight the limits of the electronic panopticon. I examine two trends that have been considerably underestimated by surveillance scholars: (1) the democratization of surveillance, where the distributed structure of the Internet and the availability of observation technologies has blurred the distinction between those who watch and those who are being watched, allowing individuals or marginalized groups to deploy sophisticated surveillance technologies against the state or large corporations; and (2) the resistance strategies that Internet users are adopting to curb the surveillance of their online activities, through blocking moves such as the use of cryptography, or masking moves that are designed to feed meaningless data to monitoring tools. I conclude that these two trends are neglected by a majority of surveillance scholars because of biases that make them dismiss the initiative displayed by ordinary users, assess positive and negative outcomes differently, and confuse what is possible and what is probable.

Details

Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1416-4

Book part
Publication date: 29 February 2008

Karen S. Glover

Incorporating DuBois's concept of a racial “double-consciousness” and extending Foucault's work on the Panopticon, I examine current day racial profiling processes and the…

Abstract

Incorporating DuBois's concept of a racial “double-consciousness” and extending Foucault's work on the Panopticon, I examine current day racial profiling processes and the effects of hyper-surveillance on communities of color. DuBois suggests that the citizen of color has a sense of duality based upon minority status and being an American. This duality offers insight into the way race “works” that few Whites comprehend. Foucault argues that the permanent visibility of those subjected to the Panopticon generates awareness of the power differential between individuals and the state. The current examination is a contextualization of narratives from people of color who experience governance and surveillance via racial profiling.

Details

Surveillance and Governance: Crime Control and Beyond
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1416-4

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Paul Jackson, Hosein Gharavi and Jane Klobas

This paper seeks to develop insights into control, power, consent and commitment with virtual knowledge workers who are removed from the immediate sphere of influence of…

3170

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to develop insights into control, power, consent and commitment with virtual knowledge workers who are removed from the immediate sphere of influence of management and co‐workers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is a detailed case study of a highly successful Scandinavian engineering company. A post‐structuralist approach is used to understand how the modes of influence on knowledge worker productivity within the organisation come into being and operate across boundaries of time, space and organisational structure. The notion of the panopticon is used to identify and characterise forms of control and undertake interpretive and critical analysis of interview data and staff behaviour.

Findings

It was found that the totality of the modes of power relations operating upon virtual knowledge workers in this case study comprises a complex and sophisticated ensemble of control and constraint. Whilst initial observations indicate that control is restricted to a small set of direct controls, the research led one to observe a complex, pervasive web of integrated and overlapping constraints emanating from the external and internal panopticon.

Originality/value

The critical approach leads one to a pragmatic understanding of the range of influences which keep virtual knowledge workers “on task”. Also a better understanding of the “network effect” of these constraints and their co‐reinforcement is reached, which may well further understanding of managing the performance of virtual knowledge workers.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Margaret Vickers, Philip Birch, Sally Gallovic and Michael Kennedy

Police officers from a police force in Australia were interviewed about the types and level of surveillance they experience in their work, with the recognition of…

Abstract

Purpose

Police officers from a police force in Australia were interviewed about the types and level of surveillance they experience in their work, with the recognition of technology contributing to an increased level of such. The concept of the Panopticon and the Looking-Glass Self offer useful frameworks for understanding the experiences of those police officers interviewed. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 14 in-depth unstructured interviews with police officers, this study is an exploratory piece of research.

Findings

This study presents findings in which police officers spoke of the surveillance they encounter from the perspective of the police organisation; their own self-surveillance as well as being monitored by other police officers. This paper argues that the Panopticon Effect can negatively impact on individual officers as well as overall police practice.

Originality/value

This paper is an exploratory study based on the experiences of rank and file police officers currently in service. The paper considers the surveillance and scrutiny of police officers from within the organisation and recognises the impact of technology.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Przemysław Wechta

The aim of the article is to analyze the process of creating spatial value. The object of the analysis concerns the riverside areas of the city of Poznan. The study…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the article is to analyze the process of creating spatial value. The object of the analysis concerns the riverside areas of the city of Poznan. The study focuses on spontaneous practices that are outside the legal regulations, thanks to less-visited places which have gained popularity among residents and disciplinary techniques introduced by government officials in response to such activities.

Design/methodology/approach

At the theoretical level, the study is primarily based on Florian Znaniecki's spatial value concept and Michel Foucault's concept of power. The empirical research study includes quantitative (questionnaire-based interviews) and qualitative methods (expert interviews and content analysis).

Findings

Identification of the method of creating spatial value which does not require direct financial outlays; determination of disciplinary techniques used by government officials ultimately led to a reduction in the spatial value.

Originality/value

The article reveals the hidden mechanisms of functioning of the authority that defends itself against the reduction of its powers. It is an alternate way of analyzing and interpreting organizational changes in urban space to the one promoted by the Poznan authorities. The results can be used in various ways. Researchers representing the critical trend of urban research can interpret the process of creating spatial value by residents in terms of community, resistance and alternates to the actions of the authorities. From this point of view, the research study is interventional and exposing in nature. On the other hand, for city decision makers allowing the possibility to consume alcohol in a given area can be an effective, low-cost way of revitalizing it. Research can also be useful in assessing the effectiveness of particular disciplinary techniques by public officers.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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