Bossware out of Nowhere? Critical Reflections on Imaginaries of Surveillance at Work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


Building on conceptual insights from studies of ‘People Analytics’, critical data studies and research on social imaginaries, we theorize and empirically investigate the proliferation of ‘bossware’ in organizations, with a specific view to understanding the managerial rationales for using bossware as well as employee responses to it. Given the scarcity of qualitative research into the variety of interpretations, meanings, and responses to work-related surveillance practices like bossware from managers and employees, we set out to sketch an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological framework that enables us to develop exactly that kind of study. After conceptualizing bossware as a modality of people analytics which inscribes employee behaviors in data assemblages offering multilevel and cross-cutting function creep, we (plan to) investigate the production of sociotechnical imaginaries by managers and employees in a modern university, showing how managerial rationales for introducing bossware afford practices of compliance with, critique and subversion among employees.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Dec 2022
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
EventImaginaries - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 1 Dec 20222 Dec 2022


LocationCopenhagen Business School

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