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This study uses a mixed methods approach to workplace dynamics. Ethnographic observations show that the consent deal underlies an informal stratification that divides the workplace into an “informal periphery,” a “conventional core,” and an “administrative clan.” The “consent deal” is defined as an exchange of autonomy, voice, and schedule flexibility for intensified commitment, and is modeled as a single factor underlying these elements. When constructed as an additive scale, consent allows informal organization to be included in workplace models. Despite its derivation from subjective and informal processes, informal structure exerts an independent effect on objective job rewards such as wages.


This is the author’s peer-reviewed final manuscript submission. The version of record is available at Copyright © 2005 University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved.