The impact of telework on the hierarchical relationship: a case study among salespeople
Dambrin, Claire (2003-10-15T09:02:29Z), The impact of telework on the hierarchical relationship: a case study among salespeople, 26th European Accounting Association Congress, 2003, Séville, Espagne
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title26th European Accounting Association Congress
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)Currently, telework stands a s one of the fastest developing illustrations of the so called virtual organization. Although it has started to boom in Europe, it still raises reluctance in companies that may implement it in their teams. One main reason listed in the literature for this reluctance is the fear of destroying the links that bind a companies members together as well as the links that attach them to their organization. Behind this hides the feeling that managers, and thus the organization, may lose control over their employees if the latter are becoming teleworkers. The issue this paper addresses is: Does telework have an impact on the hierarchical relationship and, if so, what sort of impact is it? We first propose a literature review on this theme. We then restitute the empirical results of a case study realised in a sales team where the sales persons are home-based teleworkers and their managers are not teleworkers. Through the analysis of various documents (e-mails, work contract, electronic agenda), in-depth interviews and direct observation, we propose the following results dealing with our research question: Telework reduces formal communication between employees and their direct manager while it develops interpretation bias. It facilitates communication between distant hierarchical levels, reducing the importance of professional and social status. Telework increases employees’ autonomy towards their manager. One of the only ways for the manager to evaluate his teleworkers is to devote their accountability to results. Overall, telework reduces the importance of the manager in the employee’s professional concerns. As it deals with the degree of independence and control an individual has over his job, it leads to various adjustments from the teleworker as well as from his manager.
Subjects / KeywordsOrganizational performance; Flexible labour; Teleworking; Ventes; Télétravail; telework; salespeople
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