The purposes of workplace benefits : a qualitative study of workers’ perceptions of work perks in tech and non-tech industries
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The following study examines how tech workers justify work perk implementation as a standard practice across the tech industry and how workers struggle to resist the draw of work perks that act as control mechanisms. Participants (n=19) who identified themselves as “cool” tech industry, “traditional” tech industry, and “non-tech” industry were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol concerning their work perk usage. A thematic analysis was conducted to examine an array of evidence-based patterns. Two themes emerged using an abductive approach to coding the data. The first theme examined how organizations use work perks to signal industry and occupational identification. The second theme considered how participants were willing to pay a price for seemingly free work perks. The themes contributed to academic understanding and application of organizational identification theory and unobtrusive control.