Airport security contradictions. Inter-organizational entanglements and changing work practices

Taking the highly-institutionalized, socio-technical domain of airport security as its
empirical basis, the article focuses on interorganizational workplaces marked by
public/private dialectics, and their impact on changing work practices, identity processes,
and power-resistance relations. The empirical material stems from the ethnography
that I conducted at an Italian international airport (April 2013-March 2015). Data
include fieldnotes, interviews, and video recordings. Having described the institutional
and operational scenario, I outline the contradictory pressures characterizing the considered
setting, and the way security personnel make sense of and cope with them.
Then I discuss a case of techno-organizational change concerning a technology in use at
security checkpoints (Threat Image Projection). I show how the interorganizational
context produces unforeseen and undesigned 'second order' change effects, and how
such effects may escalate workers' resistance. I close with some general reflections on
ambivalent interorganizational working orders.

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Chiara Bassetti
Sage,, London , Regno Unito
Ethnography (London) 19 (2017): 288–311. doi:10.1177/1466138117696513
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Chiara Bassetti/titolo:Airport security contradictions. Inter-organizational entanglements and changing work practices/doi:10.1177/1466138117696513/rivista:Ethnography (London)/anno:2017/pagina_da:288/pagina_a:311/intervallo_pag
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