Posted by: DrAlanRae | September 5, 2008

Why is the corporate sector so controlling?

In our research projects we’re constantly aware that the independent gifted amateurs are using all kinds of tools – some of which are reviewed here to make themselves more efficient and extend their reach.

By contrast, the corporate sector gets ever more controlling – so that people who are locked inside their firewalls are falling behind in understanding how the rest of the world is working.

We have 2 classic examples that have cropped up in the last few weeks. My main research colleague now has to do all her internet related work from her own machines because anything the University controls is completely locked down. Even though she’s responsible for teaching Internet use at Masters level.

Secondly an old Business Link colleague of mine (IT / e-business adviser)  tells me that the organisation that has taken over the Franchise that he works for has policies that not only prevent him looking at the web sites of some of the people that he’s advising (because the name is deemed “inappropriate”)  but also prevent him from naming the site in an e-mail to his boss complaining about this piece of control freakery.

What is the matter with these people? Don’t they realise that if you prevent people doing their jobs it can hardly work to the organisation’s advantage?



  1. I’ve told a few people this story, and they can roll their eyes at hearing it again.

    When I was pregnant, I was in a contract temp job (no sick pay), and one day I was just too sick to commute in so I sat down on my sofa, with my laptop, logged into Outlook web mail the same as every other employee did, and did 90 minutes of very productive work based entirely on the information I had stored in Outlook.

    At 10:30 AM the health and safety nazi office manager ordered me to stop working, because as a temp my home was not covered by the corporate insurance policy; therefore, if something happened to me or my baby while I was sitting on my own sofa using my own laptop and my own internet connection while using the corporate webmail, I could sue the company.

    Because of that a deadline was not met, a task was not completed, and I had to give up a day’s wages. Nobody cared.

    You ask “what’s the matter with these people” – they’re crap managers and they don’t want to be reminded of that fact by creative employees.

  2. Also, let me apologise for the automatically generated icon next to my post, which I did NOT choose.

  3. […]Video conferencing can cut costs and improve communication but, like any other technology, it must be used properly. That means effectively dealing with holdouts and setting reasonable rules[…]

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