|dc.description.abstract||The objective of this thesis is to study employment relations in the Indian IT industry. Drawing from Foucauldian scholarship on governmentality in organizational studies, employment relations are understood as practices of governing employee subjectivities. More specifically, the thesis focusses on the problematization of employment relations, self-formation or self-fashioning practices, and counter conduct to investigate how particular kinds of relations with oneself and one's work are produced, normalized and/or contested.
The study employed a qualitative multi-method research strategy. Data was generated through semi-structured interviews, industry and union documents/videos, and selected news media articles. The interview participants, totally 71 in number, included IT engineers, managers, HR, ex-IT employees, and union members. The analysis involved a constant back and forth between data and theory. Three narratives of subjectivation were produced through this process. First, is the employers' narrative of employability, understood as the discourse of skilling. Within this narrative, following a neoliberal employment model, employees are held responsible for their own employment and career growth through continuous skilling/reskilling. It is framed as a matter of developing the right 'mindset' or 'attitude'. Second is the employees' narrative of becoming neoliberal/enterprising subjects. This process of subjective becoming is fraught with contradictions, which makes inhabiting entrepreneurial subject position an elusive (im)possibility. The (im)possibility emerges from the contradictory demands and pressures imposed by enterprise discourse and its adverse effects on employees’ wellbeing. These experiences are further structured through gender, age and migration discourses. The third is IT union members' narrative of rights and unionism, which positions employees as rights-bearing citizen subjects, who need to unionize to collectively contest and challenge the unfair terms of employment in the industry. In the face of neoliberalism’s forestalling of collective resistance, unionism was articulated as the only appropriate way of gaining a viable (collective) subjecthood.
The thesis makes both theoretical as well as empirical contributions to the governmentality studies as well as critical management scholarship on the interrelationships among power, agency and resistance in employee subjectivation processes.||en_US