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    A smart place to work? Big data systems, labour, control, and modern retail stores: The Programmable City Working Paper 34


    Evans, Leighton and Kitchin, Rob (2017) A smart place to work? Big data systems, labour, control, and modern retail stores: The Programmable City Working Paper 34. Working Paper. The Programmable City Working Paper.

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    Official URL: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/z9dgc


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    Abstract

    The modern retail store is a complex coded assemblage and data-intensive environment, its operations and management mediated by a number of interlinked big data systems. This paper draws on an ethnography of a superstore in Ireland to examine how these systems modulate the functioning of the store and working practices of employees. It was found that retail work involves a continual movement between a governance regime of control reliant on big data systems which seek to regulate and harnesses formal labour and automation into enterprise planning, and a disciplinary regime that deals with the symbolic, interactive labour that workers perform and acts as a reserve mode of governmentality if control fails. This continual movement is caused by new systems of control being open to vertical and horizontal fissures. While retail functions as a coded assemblage of control, systems are too brittle to sustain the code/space and governmentality desired.

    Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
    Additional Information: Published as an open access pre-print on SocArXiv: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/z9dgc. Published under a CC-By Attribution 4.0 International License. The research funding for this paper was provided by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award, ‘The Programmable City’ (ERC-2012-AdG-323636).
    Keywords: retail; work; big data; code/space; governmentality; discipline; control;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
    Item ID: 9239
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/Z9DGC
    Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
    Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 17:03
    Publisher: The Programmable City Working Paper
    Funders: European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award
    URI:

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