Invisible influence, tangible trap: The clerical conundrum

Anne Fearfull, Chris Carter, Aida Sy, Tony Tinker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper contends that the contribution made by clerical workers to organisational effectiveness is invisible due in part to the dominant perspective on the clerical sector, and in part to what is seen to be the nature of the workers themselves. In synthesising some of the degradation literature with an examination of elements of clerical subjectivity it is demonstrated that clerical effectiveness is rendered invisible and that this, in turn, essentially traps clerks in low status work. Drawing on ideas emerging from past and recent literature on tacit knowledge and comparable worth, the paper seeks to demonstrate that, by applying the principles of tacitness and its analysis to this non-managerial area of work, we can see where the influence of clerical workers lies. The paper ends with a challenge to organisations which reaps the benefits of a skilful and knowledgeable workforce while doing little to formally acknowledge such expertise.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1177–1196
    Number of pages20
    JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


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