Engineering Work - On Peer Reviewing as a Method of Horizontal Control

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The existing research has produced a useful palette of ideas that help us make sense of the phenomenon of organizational control. But there is a trend that hampers the interpretative possibilities: a heavy bias towards vertical forms of control. It is frequently assumed that the control that operates in organizations has its origin in the actions of managers. This assumption is especially problematic when trying to understand how complex work is controlled, as this kind of work places particularly high demands on the development of horizontal relationships. To be sure, the importance of horizontal relationships has been stressed for example through the call for ?teamwork? and ?mutual adjustment?, but there have been few attempts to describe how the horizontal control operates. It is also commonly assumed that horizontal control is something that managers are to create, which confines the way of thinking about organizational control to the idea that managers are the controllers and employees the controlled.

This ethnographically inspired study takes departure in this lack of engagement in horizontal control. Based on a study of engineers who develop technology for telecommunication, the book stresses the importance of observing operative work when trying to create an understanding of the dynamics of organizational control. The study problematizes the idea that organizational control has its origin in managers? actions, and results in the argument that a considerable amount of control takes place horizontally, something that deviates from the dominant view in the literature. In an attempt to make sense of this horizontal control, the concept of peer reviewing is developed as a method of organizational control.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration


  • Organizational science, Samhällsvetenskaper, Social sciences, Horizontal control, Complex work, Knowledge intensiveness, Organizational control, Peer reviewing, Organisationsteori, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2007 Mar 30
  • Lund Business Press
Print ISBNs10 91-85113-16-6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2007-03-30 Time: 13:15 Place: Lunds Universitet Ekonomihögskolan Tycho Brahes väg 1, Lund Sal EC3:211 External reviewer(s) Name: Sewell, Graham Title: Professor Affiliation: University of Melbourne, Australia ---

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