Developing actor-presence

Non-managers increasingly behave like independent actors in their company, fully aware of their contributions. They create new collectives in which they support the development of others, with new forms of communication. They contribute to their company’s competence. These activities demonstrate an increasing ability of employees to modify or move the boundary between the different systems they participate in: those of home, of work, of relaxation, of friendships and other activities.

Managers attempt to re-establish communication—but their communication with non-managers remains formal and hierarchical. Computer technology helps to make communication less formal, however, as e-mails allow for faster flows of information:
‘We [at Laurens] work as a team that is increasingly self-supportive’ (1.31.15).
‘I think more communication [at Laurens] is needed because of the increasing turnover figures’ (4.18.1)
‘Management [at Prospects] need to be talking to staff more informally’ (5.52.2).

Relationships at Prospects result in tensions that are new to the organisation and the community. On the one hand, there is an increasing awareness that non-managers no longer consider managers as particularly competent. On the other, managers continue to attempt to de-personalise employees:
‘Jobs are allocated based on responsibilities [at Eden]’ (1.10.1)