Global Outsourcing, Local Transformations: Transnational Business and Urban Restructuring in the Philippines
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Stern, Justin D.
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CitationStern, Justin D. 2019. Global Outsourcing, Local Transformations: Transnational Business and Urban Restructuring in the Philippines. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractToday, cities are no longer constrained by local time zones. For millions of people in the Philippines, the work day now happens at night, due to changing patterns of labor caused by globalization. In this dissertation, I examine how the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is driving urban restructuring in key regions in the Philippines in which the industry is concentrated. Some of the unique traits of the industry, such as its spatial requirements, technological specifications, and the need to service different time zones, are leading to a crucial shift in how urban regions are structured and experienced. I focus in particular on Metropolitan Manila, the largest urban conurbation in the Philippines, as well as a handful of midsized cities, which have only recently attracted growth in the BPO sector. The dissertation is grounded in an interdisciplinary methodological approach. My primary method is case study analysis and I draw on four key sources of data: field interviews, observational analysis, spatial analysis and mapping, and archival research. The dissertation aims to answer three overlapping questions: How are the spatial and technical characteristics of the BPO industry – in particular the nocturnalization of work - changing urban environments? How do these sites reflect the shifting dynamics between global capital, corporate influence and local and regional governance? And what are the implications for urban planning and urban design practices, as well as for policy makers and local government institutions? The dissertation demonstrates that even those industries which deal in purportedly “dematerialized” information have pronounced material, social, and spatial implications.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42013155
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