Journal of Business Ethics 62 (1):13-24 (2005)

In the context of change to the “new modernity” described in Beck’s work, companies develop management modes and methods that focus more and more on individuals. Constitutive of the individualization process, human resources practices have become ambivalent as the process itself. This contribution examines how a managerial and organizational innovation as telework contributes to the process of individualization, and the paradoxes it addresses to management. At the interface of the social and the technical, teleworking appears as a flexible arrangement, meeting employees’ and employer’s demands – which is a characteristic of the process of individualization – by simultaneously fragmenting collectivity, exposing individuals to social risk, and producing exclusion. The authors focus on two consecutive paradoxes of such individualized managerial practices: the individual–collective dilemma and the autonomy–control paradox. Finally, the paper reveals HRM as a new institution of individualization in a world where regulation functions are more and more transferred to individuals themselves.
Keywords flexibility  human resource management  ICT  individualization  organization  telework  work
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-005-8710-0
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