Media and Management


Rutvica Andrijasevic, Julie Yujie Chen, Melissa Gregg, and Marc Steinberg

An essential account of how the media devices we use today inherit the management practices governing factory labor

This book argues that management is enabled by media forms, just as media gives life to management. Media technologies central to management have included the stopwatch, the punch card, the calculator, and the camera, while management theories are taught in printed and virtual textbooks and online through TED talks. In each stage of the evolving relationship between workers and employers, management innovations are learned through media, with media formats producing fresh opportunities for management.

Drawing on rich historical and ethnographic case studies, this book approaches key instances of the industrial and service economy—the legacy of Toyotism in today’s software industry, labor mediators in electronics manufacturing in Central and Eastern Europe, and app-based food-delivery platforms in China—to push media and management studies in new directions. Media and Management offers a provocative insight on the future of labor and media that inevitably cross geographical boundaries.

Rutvica Andrijasevic, based at the University of Bristol, is an activist scholar with research interests in international labor migration and business.

Julie Yujie Chen is assistant professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Melissa Gregg leads user experience and sustainability in the Client Computing Group at Intel.

Marc Steinberg is associate professor of film studies at Concordia University.


Introduction: Platform Capitalism has a Hardware History

Rutvica Andrijasevic, Julie Yujie Chen, Melissa Gregg, and Marc Steinberg

1. Management’s Mediations: The Case of Toyotism

Marc Steinberg

2. ‘Just-in-time labour’: Time-based management in the age of on-demand


Rutvica Andrijasevic

3. Spaces of Labor Mediation: Policy, Platform, and Media

Julie Yujie Chen