White-collar jobs were once valued because they offered security, interesting work, a steady salary and the prospect of promotion. However, the relentless search for economic efficiency has apparently led to a situation where those holding a professional or managerial position must endure a range of policies designed to monitor, measure and reward their performance. They also suffer from the various downsizing measures which view them as 'corporate fat'. This book is the first major in-depth study of the impact of contemporary management practices on a rapidly expanding set of white-collar occupations, namely technical workers. It investigates whether HRM schemes such as employee appraisals and performance related pay have transformed technical work to such an extent that it can no longer be described as a 'service contract'. The book contains a detailed examination of the nature of managerial control over employees who, by virtue of their commitment, present their employees with problems that are often ignored by prescriptive models of HRM. The empirical evidence features case studies of matched pairs of hi-tech firms in the Irish Republic.
The author examines recent debates about the nature of employment and the role of multinational corporations within the so-called 'Celtic Tiger' Irish economy. HRM, Technical Workers and the Multinational Corporation will be essential reading for advanced students and researchers in human resource management, the sociology of work and economic geography.