Quotation Pernkopf, Katharina. 2014. It's Crunch Time! A Silicon Valley Story About Labor Law Exemptions, Passionate Slaves & Common Stock. SCANCOR Friday Seminar, Stanford University, 14.02.




The protection of employees from exploitative organizational practices like excessive overtime is a central concern while studying the employment relationship, especially in terms of legal actions under labor law, the nature of contracts and the structuring of work. This concern goes back to the first International Labour Organization Convention in 1919 which addressed to limit work hours and ensure an adequate leisure time. Organizational responses to the most recent economic recession has yet been challenging the quality of the employment relationship again (e.g., asking for no documentation of long hours, raising expectations concerning 'voluntary' overtime, 'playing around' with job insecurity). Illegal work practices - at least with regard to international standards - can be found in Silicon Valley companies that correspond to this development. However, traditional conceptions of the employment relationship do not sufficiently address today's challenges that need to be tackled. They focus on particular base-line assumptions like perfect competition, win-win situations, unbalanced power or class conflict limiting themselves to a particular understanding of a 'best practice', for instance, unions protecting employees from excessive overtime are not needed and are interpreted as sign of mismanagement that harms the win-win situation of employer and employee. Thus, dynamics caused by globalization in general and the economic crisis recently (e.g., employees willing to work long hours because of their personal attitude, meeting project deadlines as a team or sacrificing their professional identity for the market good) cannot fully be explained leaving out alternatives for resolving potential disputes between employers and employees at various levels of engagement with the work environment.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Unpublished lecture
Language English
Title It's Crunch Time! A Silicon Valley Story About Labor Law Exemptions, Passionate Slaves & Common Stock
Event SCANCOR Friday Seminar
Location Stanford University
Date Feb. 14, 2014


Pernkopf, Katharina (Former researcher)
Interdisciplinary Institute for Management and Organizational Behavior IN (Details)
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