Brogrammers, Tech Hobbyists, and Coding Peasants: Surveillance, Fun, and Productivity in High Tech
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This project is based on an ethnography of Trifecta Tech (pseudonym) a major high-tech firm on the West coast of the U.S. Although a growing group of organizational theorists started investigating high-tech firms’ organizational model and management mechanisms, they are still limited by their neglect of two latest trends in the high-tech industry: the rejuvenation of the workforce through disproportionally recruiting young college-educated men and the masculinization of the organizational culture. Drawing on 46 in-depth interviews and 11 months of participant observation, this study argues that these two latest dynamics result in some significant organizational processes that have not been examined before, including the gamification of the workplace; the promotion of “playful” organizational culture that attempts to blur boundaries between work and off-work activities; and the reinforcement of masculinized racial hierarchy to facilitate managers’ division of labor.