Market, Class, and Employment
Much of the received wisdom about the world of work emphasizes the marketization of the employment relationship; the decline of class-based forms of inequality, and the individualization of employment relations. Non-standard forms of employment, the delayering of organizational hierarchies, and the use of individual performance-based payment systems are all held up as examples of a new neo-liberal order in which employers and employees no longer feel a sense of obligation to each other.
Drawing on a range of employee and employer surveys, including the authors own Working in Britain 2000 survey, this ambitious study presents a comprehensive examination of the conditions, attitudes, and experiences of British employees from the mid-1980s to the early years of this century. The authors’ analyses provides a compelling critique of the received wisdom, while also providing an original, alternative account of recent developments in work and labour markets. Along the way, the book covers such topical issues as the changing nature of trade union membership, the consequences of Britain’s ‘long hours’ culture’, and the apparent inability of women to ask for pay rises. Significantly, the authors seek to reposition debates about the future of work by restoring the concepts of contracts and social class to the analysis of the employment relationship.
Based on the ESRC funded Future of Work research programme this book is destined to shape our understanding of employment in Britain for the foreseeable future.
Table of Contents:
List of Figures viii
List of Tables ix
Glossary of Acronyms xi
1. The changing economy of work 1
2. The marketization of the employment relationship? 36
3. Inequality at work 69
4. Representation, participation, and individualism 99
5. Overwork and market discipline 127
6. Bureaucratic discipline and overwork 156
7. The family challenge 191
8. Unequal jobs: job quality and job satisfaction 233
9. Conclusions 283
Author Index 321
Subject Index 326
About the Author:
Patrick McGovern is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science having previously held positions at Aston University and London Business School. His research interests are in economic sociology, especially the sociology of work and labour markets, and international migration. He is the author of HRM, Technical Workers and the Multinational Corporation (Routledge, 1998).
Stephen Hill is the Principal of Royal Holloway, University of London and Professor of Management. He has written widely on social theory and economic sociology. His research interests include work and organizations, control systems, quality management, human resource management and the effects of technological change on manufacturing organizations. He is the author or co-author of six books including Competition and Control at Work (Heinemann, 1981), The Dominant Ideology Thesis (Allen and Unwin, 1980), Dominant Ideologies (Unwin Hyman, 1990) and the Penguin Dictionary of Sociology (Penguin, 2006).
Colin Mills is University Lecturer in Sociology and Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford. His research interests are in social stratification, the sociology of employment relations and measurement issues in the social sciences. He previously held appointments at the University of Surrey and the London School of Economics. Michael White founded the Employment Studies Group at the Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster, where he is now Emeritus Fellow. He is author of Against Unemployment (PSI, 1991) and co-author of Restructuring the Employment Relationship (OUP, 1998) and Managing to Change? – British workplaces and the future of work (Palgrave, 2004). He was awarded an OBE for services to labour market policy in 2005.
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 8, 2008)