Reduced Working Time as Political, Management and Control Instrument



work day, working time, power relation, control at work, public service.


Reduced working time is a topic widely discussed in organization studies, mainly its benefits. However, the literature does not deeply emphasize the power and control dynamics oftentimes observed in its implementation by organizations. The aim of the current article is to help fulfilling this gap by exploring different concepts about reduced working time in place in Brazilian federal educational institutions that have adopted the thirty-hour workweek as standard for their technical-administrative employees. A case study was carried out through observation, documental analysis and eighteen semi-structured interviews conducted with both workers subjected to shorter working hours and managers working under the conventional forty-hour week standard. Based on the results, despite its notable benefits for the work/life balance, the reduced working time has three interrelated purposes, namely: political, management, and control instrument. This research made it possible to reveal how management and control instruments can be incorporated to a policy focused on reduced working time, to highlight the complexity and controversy of power relation, as well as contributed to organization studies, based on rationalization about life and its temporal dimensions.


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Author Biographies

Geraldo Tessarini Junior, University of São Paulo

PhD candidate in Business at School of Economics, Business, Accounting and Actuarial Sciences of University of São Paulo (FEA-USP). Master’s Degree in Production Engineering at Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). He is interested in and develops research in organization studies and employment relations.



Patricia Saltorato, Federal University of São Carlos

PhD in Production Engineering at Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). Associate Professor II of the Production Engineering Department at Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar Sorocaba). Professor of the Graduate Program in Production Engineering (PPGEPS – UFSCar Sorocaba) and of the Graduate Program in Administration (PPGA – UFSCar Sorocaba). Researcher at the Center for Studies in Economic and Finance Sociology (NESEFI – UFSCar).




How to Cite

Tessarini Junior G, Saltorato P. Reduced Working Time as Political, Management and Control Instrument. Organ. Soc. [Internet]. 2022Oct.28 [cited 2023Sep.30];29(103). Available from: