Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 154, Issue 2, pp 411–423 | Cite as

An Orchestrated Negotiated Exchange: Trading Home-Based Telework for Intensified Work

  • Dharma Raju BathiniEmail author
  • George Mathew Kandathil
Original Paper


In this paper, we explore a popular flexible work arrangement (FWA), home-based telework, in the Indian IT industry. We show how IT managers used the dominant meanings of telework to portray telework as an employee benefit that outweighed the attendant cost—intensified work. While using their discretion to grant telework, the managers drew on this portrayal to orchestrate a negotiated exchange with their subordinates. Consequently, the employees consented to accomplish the intensified work at home in exchange of telework despite their opposition to the intensified work in the office. Thus, whereas the extant studies consider work intensification as an unanticipated outcome of using FWAs, we show how firms may use FWAs strategically to get office-based intensified work accomplished at home. While the dominant argument is that employees reciprocate the opportunity to telework with intensified work, we show a discursively orchestrated negotiation that favors management. A corrective policy measure is to frame telework as an employee right.


Flexible work arrangements Home-based telework Work intensification India Employee right Negotiation Virtual work Work from home Telehomeworking Information Technology (IT) industry 



Flexible Work Arrangements


Information Technology


Odd and/or Long Work Hours



We thank the editor and the two anonymous reviewers, and Martin Parker for comments that greatly improved the manuscript. We also thank Neharika Vohra and Pradyumana Khokle for advice during the course of this research work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Management CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Management AhmedabadAhmedabadIndia

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