The Amplification of Power Dynamics in Virtual Work

The Amplification of Power Dynamics in Virtual Work

Stephen C. Yungbluth (Northern Kentucky University, USA) and Zachary P. Hart (Northern Kentucky University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch715


This chapter examines how power dynamics are manifested in virtual work. It starts with a look at how power is demonstrated in traditional decision making, and progresses to an exploration of how some organizations are experimenting with different forms of e-participation. Two cases are presented to illustrate some of the decisions associated with the implementation of information and communication technology (ICT), and the consequences of those choices. The first case looks at President Obama’s platform on technology and how his administration has embraced it to expand his vision of democracy in the information age. The second case portrays a utility company seeking to increase the involvement of its stakeholders through the creation of a blog site for the exclusive use of its community council. Both cases reveal a complex view of how organizations attempting to increase participation can paradoxically find themselves stifling it.

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