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Presentation Details

 

Time-managing the New Cyberproletariat in the Virtual Workshop: Dispersed Development of IT/Multimedia Products and Services

Serge Walberg.


The recent increase in the use of IT/multimedia products and services has created a new category of worker: the IT/Internet/Multimedia worker, and engendered a burgeoning cyber-proletariat. This workforce (primarily comprised of programmers, graphic designers, instructional designers and project managers) is no longer geographically restricted to a specific workplace, but can collaborate online to develop products flexibly, working from any internet-connected location, in a global virtual workshop which transcends its physical location. A new managerial style is necessary for this new working environment and currently used project-management styles and techniques which are based on Taylorism's scientific management and post-WW2 systems management, may no longer be the most effective, cost-effective or appropriate.

Time-management strategies originally developed for workers assembled in the same physical location may not be appropriate for this new cyberproletariat. Further, time-monitoring and control procedures must be adjusted to reflect new objectives and new definitions of project success.

Foucauldian concepts, particularly the relationship between discourse and power, are used to investigate the economic/socio-cultural essence of the new cyber-proletariat, as well as the new cyber-workshop itself, to re-examine definitions of success/failure rates and to investigate the power relations involved in time-management of online workers.

All project management methodologies involve time-management. This paper attempts to redefine the currently applied time management procedures on the basis of a Foucauldian analysis of the new cyber-workshop, or online working environment, and construct a developer-oriented, yet cost-effective and productive methodology for their adoption and implementation. By focusing on the interests of the developer rather than the enterprise, this research constitutes the first attempt at reconciling the entirely new managerial styles required for online multimedia project management with the constraints imposed by financial and commercial imperatives.

Presenters

Serge Walberg  (Australia)
Researcher in Interactive Multimedia Technologies
School of Communications and Multimedia
Edith Cowan University

Graduated (B.Comms. Honours) from ECU in Interactive Multimedia/Computer Science. Currently employed as sessional lecturer (ECU), while 2 years into my Ph.D research.

Keywords
  • Cyberproletariat
  • Virtual workshop
  • Online development of IT products
  • Time management
  • Multimedia project management
  • Foucault
Person as Subject
  • Michel Foucault



(30 min Conference Paper, English)