Redefining dignity in the context of precarity: Indian security guards’ interface with their clients, suppliers and unions (CD)

By: Chakraborty, SaikatMaterial type: Computer fileComputer filePublication details: Ahmedabad Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad 2021Description: 186 p. ill. Includes bibliographical referencesSubject(s): Security guard | Client-supplier relationship | Workplace dignity | Trade unionDDC classification: TH 2021-11 Online resources: eThesis Summary: Precarity, marked by uncertainty, instability and insecurity has become a significant feature of contemporary work and employment. This is particularly applicable to India, where 93% of the workforce (which includes those in the formal and informal sectors) is informal and engaged in precarious jobs, i.e., jobs marked by precarity. One such category is security guards working as contract workers, whose dignity appears severely challenged in the context of precarity. To understand this interface between precarity and dignity, data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with 29 client and supplier managers and 56 security guards of which 22 were unionized guards and union representatives, analyzed thematically and triangulated with the help of documents (contract agreements, court cases, media reports) and observations. The findings show that the major reason for security guards’ dignity getting compromised emanates from client-supplier relationships. However, though all clients try to reduce the cost of security services by outsourcing, client-supplier relationships can shape how dignity is experienced. On the one hand, those clients who solely focus on cost reduction and depend on price-based competition between suppliers, open up possibilities for abuse and a drop in labour standards. On the other hand, client-supplier relationships focused on service quality, labour standards and organizational reputation, provide spaces to reclaim dignity. In the former, the dignity of security guards stands eroded due to insecurity of income, non-recognition of human needs and inferior treatment meted out to them by various stakeholders in client organizations, while the latter category provides spaces to reclaim some lost dignity. Further, this thesis argues how unionization enable guards to redefine their dignity at the collective level. However, the process of redefining dignity depends on union action and how the union navigates the constraints and challenges of union sustenance. The study extends workplace dignity literature by highlighting the impact of inter-organizational relations that increasingly determine contemporary employment conditions and work organization, while also contributing to the empirically unexplored role of unions in worker dignity.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
Star ratings
    Average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Holdings
Item type Current library Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode
Thesis (FPM) Vikram Sarabhai Library
Reference
Non-fiction TH 2021-11 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Not for Issue (Restricted Access) CD002655

Thesis Advisory Committee
Prof Ernesto Noronha (Chairperson)
Prof Parvinder Gupta (Member)
Prof Premilla D'Cruz (Member)

Precarity, marked by uncertainty, instability and insecurity has become a significant feature of contemporary work and employment. This is particularly applicable to India, where 93% of the workforce (which includes those in the formal and informal sectors) is informal and engaged in precarious jobs, i.e., jobs marked by precarity. One such category is security guards working as contract workers, whose dignity appears severely challenged in the context of precarity. To understand this interface between precarity and dignity, data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with 29 client and supplier managers and 56 security guards of which 22 were unionized guards and union representatives, analyzed thematically and triangulated with the help of documents (contract agreements, court cases, media reports) and observations. The findings show that the major reason for security guards’ dignity getting compromised emanates from client-supplier relationships. However, though all clients try to reduce the cost of security services by outsourcing, client-supplier relationships can shape how dignity is experienced. On the one hand, those clients who solely focus on cost reduction and depend on price-based competition between suppliers, open up possibilities for abuse and a drop in labour standards. On the other hand, client-supplier relationships focused on service quality, labour standards and organizational reputation, provide spaces to reclaim dignity. In the former, the dignity of security guards stands eroded due to insecurity of income, non-recognition of human needs and inferior treatment meted out to them by various stakeholders in client organizations, while the latter category provides spaces to reclaim some lost dignity. Further, this thesis argues how unionization enable guards to redefine their dignity at the collective level. However, the process of redefining dignity depends on union action and how the union navigates the constraints and challenges of union sustenance. The study extends workplace dignity literature by highlighting the impact of inter-organizational relations that increasingly determine contemporary employment conditions and work organization, while also contributing to the empirically unexplored role of unions in worker dignity.

There are no comments on this title.

to post a comment.

Powered by Koha