As online distractions increasingly colonize our time, why has productivity become such a vital demonstration of personal and professional competence? When corporate profits are soaring but worker salaries remain stagnant, how does technology exacerbate the demand for ever greater productivity? In Counterproductive Melissa Gregg explores how productivity emerged as a way of thinking about job performance at the turn of the last century and why it remains prominent in the different work worlds of today. Examining historical and archival material alongside popular self-help genres-from housekeeping manuals to bootstrapping business gurus, and the growing interest in productivity and mindfulness software-Gregg shows how a focus on productivity isolates workers from one another and erases their collective efforts to define work limits. Questioning our faith in productivity as the ultimate measure of success, Gregg's novel analysis conveys the futility, pointlessness, and danger of seeking time management as a salve for the always-on workplace.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"Gregg . . . places the genre [of self-help] in a rich social and historical context." -- Scott McLemee * Inside Higher Ed *
"Counterproductive trains its lens on the productivity self-help genre itself, posing the question 'How does this insatiable industry for productivity continue trading on essentially unchanging insights?' Gregg . . . sees the glut of such books as a symptom of deeper problems with the organization of modern work. . . . Best for: Self-help burnouts." -- Caitlin Harrington * Wired *
"Reading [Counterproductive] caused me to have the biggest writing-related epiphany I've ever had." -- Theresa MacPhail * Chronicle of Higher Education *