TITLE

'Creativity loves constraints': The paradox of Google's twenty percent time

AUTHOR(S)
Walker, Abe
PUB. DATE
November 2011
SOURCE
Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization;Nov2011, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p369
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article takes as its central object of study Google's innovative time off program, colloquially known as '20 Percent Time'. This program represents a radical departure from conventional approaches to organizing the workday, and is quickly gaining traction in the technology sector and beyond. Under the directive of management, Google programmers devote 20% of their working time to independent projects of their own choosing. While this program offers the appearance of freedom, it is shown that 20 Percent Time actually has the opposite effect, intensifying managerial control and heightening exploitation. The paper situates 20 Percent Time in relation to existing literature on workplace control, especially labour process theory and the critical management studies tradition, as well as Derrida's notion of the gift. It is shown that while 20 Percent Time is a crucial component of Google's attempts to control their employees, it is fraught with contradictions that may contribute to its undoing. The paper concludes by posing some possibilities for resistance within and against 20 Percent Time
ACCESSION #
75650544

 

Related Articles

  • My Goodness, I Have Been Here 15 Hours. Kunkel, Nathaniel // Electronic Musician;May2008, Vol. 24 Issue 5, p138 

    The author reflects on the impact of computer technology on an individual's work and life. He observes that people tend to devote more time to their work in this computer age compared to the previous years when computers are not yet widely used in the work environment. In addition, he believes...

  • Coalition Releases Model State Child-Labor Law. Portner, Jessica // Education Week;10/21/1992, Vol. 12 Issue 7, p16 

    The article introduces a model state child-labor law which aimed to protect minors from exploitation and hazardous working conditions in the United States. Issued by the Child Labor Coalition, the law limits the number of hours that children could work. Working minors are required to have work...

  • Sun, sea, sand and sweatshops.  // Contours;May-Aug2005, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p24 

    The article discusses the conditions of workers in the tourism industry in various countries. Around 200 million workers make their living in the multibillion dollar tourism industry, an industry renowned for its long hours, poor pay and deplorable working conditions. Tourism Concern's initial...

  • Why some of us aren't into running sweat(suit) shops. Romero, Lorenzo // Advertising Age;11/5/2007, Vol. 78 Issue 44, p17 

    The article presents an editorial on working conditions in the advertising field. The author disagrees with the policies of various agencies which allow employees flexible hours and creative rendezvous to gather inspiration. He also discusses disliking the ubiquity of computer instant messaging...

  • Child Labor Comes Back.  // New Republic;1/18/33, Vol. 73 Issue 946, p257 

    Presents information on child labor in the United States. Statement that reports from authorities in various states substantiate the charge that children are being exploited in the U.S.; Revealment that children are working in shops eighty or more hours a week; View that the authorities are...

  • THE COLOR OF OUR CLOTHES. Dudintsev, Vladimir // World Affairs;Sep89, Vol. 152 Issue 2, p107 

    Focuses on the declining interest of the people in creative activities in Russia. Exploitation of workers; Consequences of imbalance compensation; Degradation of intelligent people.

  • Freedom to make errors fosters work creativity.  // Personnel Today;4/30/2002, p51 

    Focuses on the need for supportive culture to foster creativity in the workplace in Great Britain. Safety foundation among employees to perform original ideas; Freedom to make mistakes without fear of retribution; Stimulants in the search for creativity.

  • Make time for innovation. Bentley, Ross // Computer Weekly;1/24/2002, p45 

    Focuses on the methods of facilitating creativity in the work environment in Great Britain. Correlation between creativity with business success; Factors affecting creativity; Discussion on the management-worker tandem towards innovation.

  • The Mine Facets of Glowing.  // Rotman Management;Spring2010, p97 

    The article offers information on the signs and facets of people who are glowing on their tasks and responsibilities within the workplace.

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics