Jake Rosenfeld. The Power of Transparency: Inequality and Information Sharing in the Workplace

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

The Power of Transparency: Inequality and Information Sharing in the Modern Workplace

Does the dissemination of workplace information shift power dynamics within workplaces, and if so, how?  In this project I first provide updated analyses of how widespread information sharing is in the contemporary U.S., and outline strategies for uncovering whether or not information sharing affects pay.  Second, I provide evidence that the spread of organizational financial information increases wages in Great Britain.  I argue that disclosure is a key resource that reduces information asymmetries, thereby providing legitimacy to workers’ claims in wage bargaining.  My focus on managerial transparency and its effects on worker earnings reveals a largely-ignored characteristic of modern workplaces that has implications for contemporary trends in inequality and wage stagnation in the liberal market economies.

Jake Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington (Seattle), co-director of the Scholars Strategy Network Northwest, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, the West Coast Poverty Center and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.  He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University in 2007.   Professor Rosenfeld’s research and teaching focus on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the United States and other advanced democracies.   See more about Professor Rosenfeld here: www.jakerosenfeld.net.