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Reengineering IndiaWork, Capital, and Class in an Offshore Economy$
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Carol Upadhya

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199461486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199461486.001.0001

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Soft Capitalism Comes to India

Soft Capitalism Comes to India

(p.166) 4 Soft Capitalism Comes to India
Reengineering India

Carol Upadhya

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 describes the ‘New Age’ management ideas and ‘subjective’ techniques of organizational control that have been imported into the Indian IT industry, especially the promotion of ‘flat structures’, an informal work culture, and employee autonomy. It argues that the ideology of ‘soft’ management provides a powerful discursive framework through which actors interpret their experiences at work and fashion their selves and lives beyond work. The chapter examines how these ‘indirect’ management practices shape sociality in the workplace and the subjectivities of IT workers, how software engineers negotiate with the relations of power and forms of subjectification that the encounter at work, and how they navigate these complex workspaces while pursuing their own projects of self-fashioning and mobility. The chapter also addresses the question of power, agency, and identity in IT workspaces through an examination of the micro-politics of teamwork and the cultural politics of outsourcing.

Keywords:   New Age management, indirect organizational control, subjective management techniques, teamwork, service work, cultural politics of outsourcing, subjectification, Indian IT professionals

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