The Dialectical Meaning of Offshored Work

Neoliberal Desires and Labour Arbitrage in Post-socialist Romania

The Dialectical Meaning of Offshored Work analyzes how offshoring investments function as a platform for intercultural encounters among corporate actors and local populations of hosting communities. The book synthesizes ethnographic research, media reviews, and policy analysis to examine how localized forms of offshoring production occur in social, political and economic processes to highlight dilemmas connected to mobility of capital, modernization, social equality and capitalist expansion. The book delineates the complex interplay between Western neoliberalism and a transforming post-socialist Europe, to show the complex ways in which offshoring production infiltrates local communities. Analyzing issues of labor, work and employment, this book engages with current scholarship on critical management, sociology, anthropology, and East European studies.

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Miłosz Miszczyński, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor at Kozminski University, Poland. He conducts research in the fields of critical studies of organisations and sociology of labour. His publications include publications in Organzation, Critical Sociology and European Journal of Cultural Studies.
Introduction: the Post-socialist Workforce in the Global Offshoring Networks
 1 The Post-socialist Workforce in Global Production
 2 Offshoring Studies
 3 Social Reproduction and Offshoring
 4 Ethnography of Foreign Investment
 5 The Investor and the Region
 6 The Structure of this Book

1 Romania’s Systemic Transformation: Chaos, Austerity and Imposed Neoliberal Reform
 1 Ad-hoc Transition (1989–1996)
 2 The Period of Market Orientation (1996–2004)
 3 The Period of European Integration (2004–2009)
 4 Global Economic Crisis and Neoliberal Rule (2009–2014)
 5 Conclusions

2 The Arrival: Global Assemblage of Neoliberal Production
 1 Nokia Village Plans
 2 Factory Closure in Germany
 3 The Opening

3 A Journey onto the Shop Floor: Cultural Specificity of the Offshored Plant and Workforce Adaptation
 1 Joining a Capitalist Workplace
 2 Cultural Specificity of the Workplace and Worker Socialisation
 3 Workplace Adaptation
 4 Cultural Specificity and the Offshored Workplace

4 Shop Floor Culture and Routine Production Process
 1 Lubricating the Taylorist Workplace
 2 Limiting Control and Political Intimacies at Work
 3 Epistemic Holes, Humour and Storytelling
 4 Conclusions

5 Familial Involvement in Offshored Labour
 1 Prior to Investment
 2 Mutual Dependencies
 3 Emancipatory Forces
 4 Intergenerational Exceptionalism
 5 Mutual Dependency in a Broader Context

6 Employee Reactions to the Plant Closure
 1 The Good Investor’s Bad Decisions
 2 Social Mobilization
 3 What the Plant Changed

7 Coping with Loss: Local Agency and Offshored Labour
 1 The Secrecy of the Contract
 2 Smartphone Controversy
 3 Romania in the Global Economy
 4 The New Investor
 5 Discussion: National Reaction to the Issue of Relocation

Conclusions: Labour Arbitrage, Modernity and the Realities of Offshored Labour

Scholars and students of labour and work relations representing a broad range of disciplines, such as critical management studies, sociology and anthropology.