Global judgements and ideas.
I am an Associate Professor in Political Economy & Technology at the University of Leicester in the School of Business, Management and Organization division from 2nd January 2018 +.
Academia page Find many of my pre-print publications here!
Twitter handle: @phoebemoore
Biography: Dr Moore has been writing about work and worker struggle since 1997 when she lived in South Korea during the East Asian economic crisis, and her research highlights specific pressures workers face in contemporary and historical context. Moore’s current research looks at the impact of technology on work from a critical perspective, looking at quantification through wearable tracking and algorithmic decision-making as a set of management techniques where control and resistance emerge as well as new risks of psychosocial and physical violence (2015, 2016, 2017). Previous work has looked at the role of trade unions in international development and poverty policy in relation to International Labour Organization’s multilateral relationships (2014); subjectivity and the radical potentials of non-proprietary peer to peer production linking workers across virtual spaces (2009, 2011); and the globalization of worker education from a neo-Gramscian perspective where hegemony is not yet solidified, evidenced through consistent worker uprisings internationally (2005, 2006, 2007).
Empirical categories: Quantified work: technology and work including wearable tracking technologies and workplace surveillance in human resource processes including algorithmic decision-making, electronic performance monitoring, automation, and people analytics; gig work and crowdsourcing; risks workers face in these contexts of psychosocial and physical violence and harassment
Workers’ resistance and struggles: trade unions, alternative organizing
Theoretical and philosophical influences: Marx, Gramsci, Federici, Spinoza and more; post-autonomists and post-Marxian; debates in international political economy, social reproduction, feminism, emotional and affective labour, science and technology, employment studies
Recent impact and media appearances:
2016-18 United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO) ACTRAV. Dr Moore was invited as an expert advisor for the UNI Global Union Professionals and Managers section at the ILO meetings on Violence against Women and Men in the World of Work in October 2016.
Her work was cited in the ILO ACTRAV report that was published after this expert meeting ACTRAV (2017) on page 109, where Moore’s research for the BA/Leverhulme project is used in a case study. ACTRAV is the Labour Bureau of the ILO and this report feeds into discussions for a new labour standard or convention, entitled ‘Violence and Harrassment Against Women and Men in the World of Work: Trade Union Perspectives and Action’.
Dr Moore’s article, ‘The psycho-social impacts of technological change in contemporary workplaces and trade union responses’, co-authored with Pav Akhtar, has been published in the ILO ACTRAV’s International Journal of Labour Research on a special issue on this topic.
Dr Moore was commissioned to write a large discussion paper entitled The Threat of Physical and Psychosocial Violence in the World of Digitalized Work, which highlights the ways in which new technologies are being used for management purposes in the workplace today as professional environment that comprises factories, streets but also homes. This includes the ’gig economy’, automation practices and algorithmic management, people analytics, computerisation, wearable tracking. ACTRAV commissioned Dr Moore to carry out this research because of her recognized expertise in this field.
The paper is part of a research package prepared under the auspices of ACTRAV ahead of the first discussion of a proposed labour standard on “Ending violence and harassment towards women and men in the world of work” at the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2018.
2018 Financial Times. Interview featured in FT article by Sarah O’Connor: ‘Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Algorithms at work signal a shift to management by numbers’
(Companies) should be wary of wading in too deep without limits or safeguards — of “surrendering power to numbers”, as Leicester University academic Phoebe Moore puts it. That is not just because of the nascent threats from regulators or trade unions. It is also because of what they might lose: the subtle flexibility of human judgment; decisions tempered by empathy or common sense; the simple ability to sort a problem out by sitting down across a table and talking about it. Companies remove the “human” from human resources at their peril.
2018 WIRED magazine. Interview featured in WIRED UK article by Phoebe Braithwaite: ‘The university pensions strike is a last resort for STEM academics’
“People go into higher education not just for the teaching part – they do it because they’re researchers; because they are socially active,” says Phoebe Moore, professor of political economy and technology at the University of Leicester, where David Willetts who oversaw the implementation of the Browne Review in 2010 has just been made chancellor. “If you’re talking about technology and STEM subjects, these people are genuinely creating the future.”
2017 Financial Times. Interview featured in FT article by Jane Wild: ‘Wearables in the Workplace and the Dangers of Employee Surveillance’ in the report on Employment: Best Practice
Transparency is crucial in forming [a wearables in workplace] strategy’, says Phoebe Moore, an academic who works with multinational companies and unions to devise codes of conduct about their data gathering practices. She adds that often workers do not realise the extent to which they are being observed, from their emails being read to voice and motion technology being used to analyse how great a contribution they make in meetings. Ms Moore recommends that employees are involved in the process of formulating a data policy and that the guidelines are very clear in stating why data are captured and what they are used for. “Communication [with staff] is very important,” she says. “Who owns the data? Who stores it? Can it be sold?”
2017 BizTech. Interview featured in article ‘Want to Improve Employee Productivity? Wearables Could be the Answer’
Businesses are looking to technology to measure workers’ activities, creating a more productive and efficient workforce, says Dr. Phoebe Moore, a senior lecturer at Middlesex University in London who has done extensive research on the subject.
The growing initiative, called the “quantified self at work” or the “quantified workplace,” comes in many forms, Moore says. In some cases, businesses equip employees with wearable sensors that track their movements and speech patterns. Through data analysis, employers then look for trends and make adjustments aimed at boosting performance — perhaps, by redesigning office spaces to encourage communication and collaboration.
In other instances, companies use gamified, goal-setting apps, which provide a central dashboard for managers and employees to track and discuss their progress.
According to Moore, one popular way for businesses to implement the quantified workplace is through corporate wellness programs that outfit workers with fitness trackers, measuring the distance they walk each day.
…balance is just what companies should strive for when pursuing the quantified workplace, Moore says: “The ideal scenario is one that benefits both the workers and the people who run the company.
2016 The Atlantic. ‘How Fitness Trackers Make Leisure More Like Work’ Dr Moore’s academic work is referenced by Frank Pasquale
2015 Business Investors Daily. ‘Employee Time-Tracking Software Raises Privacy Issues’ Julia Chen interviewed and then discusses Dr Moore’s research, quoting her
2014 Index on Censorship. ‘From the Factory Floor’ Vicky Baker interviewed Dr Moore about her research and quotes her
2014 Imperica magazine. ‘Phoebe Moore: Wearable Politics’ A feature article was printed on Dr Moore’s research
Hear some of her talks:
27/01/17 ‘The Algorithmic Self at Work’, NUI Galway ‘Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project’ talk
14/11/16 ‘The Quantified Self at Work’, Cambridge University CRASSH Ethics of Big Data invited research seminar talk
Research Network Leadership:
2015-18 Executive Board Critical Political Economy Research Network (CPERN). Elected member.
2014-15 Executive Board British International Studies Association. Elected member.
2011-14 Convenor for International Political Economy Group Dr Moore created a new website and was responsible for the managing and updating, budget, organised several events and helped with events organised by members, managed the email list and mentored junior researchers.
Book Prize Judge: Dr Moore was the judge on the IPEG Book Prize panel (2011 – 2014)
IPEG Discussion Paper Series: Phoebe was the Editor for this series (2007 – 2011)
Convenor for the Conference of Socialist Economists (CSE) South Group
Capital & Class Senior Editor. Editorial board member since 2006
Globalizations Editorial Board member since 2013
ESRC Peer Review College member since 2012
Advisory and consultancy roles:
Dr Moore has provided paid consultancy for businesses interested in her research on the quantified self at work
Dr Moore is on the steering committee for a group organised by the Institution for Engineering and Technology that is looking at creating a code of conduct for Industrie 4.0 business strategy (2016+)
Dr Moore worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Training for the Trainers programmes in Ankara and Sarajevo presenting work on employability and UK education policy (2008 – 2009)
Phoebe presented research to the Korea Research Institute of the Korean Ministry of Labour on employability and UK education policy (2009)
Recent panel/stream organisation
2017 Organising Team IIPPE/CPERN as the CPERN Executive Board member and network liaison
2016 Section Co-Chair ‘Mapping Alternative Routes out of Capitalism’. International Initiatives in Political Economy, Lisbon (with Dr David Bailey)
2016 Symposium ‘Surveillance at Work’, International Labour Process Conference, Berlin (gained book contract with Dynamics of Virtual Work series edited by Prof Ursula Huws and Prof Rosalind Gill)
2011-14 IPEG Convenor. Dr Moore organised and helped colleagues organise several workshops and conferences in this role