BETWEEN REWARD AND SUFFERING: THE BANK WORKERS' VIEW OF THE FLEXIBILITY DISCOURSE
RAM. Revista de Administração Mackenzie
Purpose: To analyze critically the impact of the flexibility discourse on banking industry practices, from the perspective of bank employees. Originality/gap/relevance/implications: This research is relevant once it deals with the issue of flexibility from the point of view of the employees, a matter that is still being debated in the academia. It also tries to close a gap in the subject, namely on whether employees identify the use of the flexibility discourse as being an instrument of
... strument of control. Key methodological aspects: The study used a qualitative approach and semi-structured interviews for its data collection. This data was analyzed using the content analysis method. Summary of key results: The transformation of bank workers' profiles, in order to be more flexible, has exposed them to perverse management practices and, encouraged by corporate discourse, they have ended up becoming high performance slaves. The bank employee is now primarily seen as a salesperson. Even though they are dissatisfied with their working conditions, the interviewees readily submit themselves to the pressures of work to maintain their standards of living. Key considerations/conclusions: Flexible practices are so embedded in the day-to-day work of bank workers that they do not perceive them as being tools of control or domination over them. Finally, the conclusion reached is that the prevailing ideology in society enhances the discourse of human resources management, which, in turn makes the flexibility discourse operational, as pointed out by Sennet (2008) and Gaulejac (2007).