New technology and work in the Australian telecommunications sector: What role for technicians?
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This paper examined the impact of rapid technological change on the role and employment practices of Telstra technicians. The ramifications of technological change for these workers included changed skill sets, electronic monitoring,job cuts and the outsourcing of some former core work. The paper concludes that technological determinism may assist in explaining some of the resulting changes to the roles of Telstra's in-house technicians, while the heightened use of electronic monitoring was in line with the 'control imperative' of labour process theory. However, new technology did not appear to be the major factor behind Telstra's shift towards a unitarist employment relations approach. Rather, this approach represented a strategic choice on the part of Telstra management, although new technologies provided support for some of their unitarist strategies.
Labour and Industry
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Human Resources Management