Supervision and Authority in Industry: Western European Experiences, 1830-1939

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Patricia Van den Eeckhout
Berghahn Books, Aug 30, 2009 - History - 244 pages
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The number of studies discussing the labour relationship under industrial capitalism is overwhelming, but the literature on labour and its concrete, day-today shop-floor practices is much less abundant. How and by whom workers were supervised is one of the neglected aspects in the history of labour relations. After an insightful introductory chapter discussing the different forms of supervision in the United States, Britain, France and Germany before the First World War, the case studies in this volume focus on foremen: vital, but largely unstudied figures in the history of factory life, labour relations and management. Illustrating the multiple faces of the foreman, the contributors examine the artisanal sector, textiles, mining, printing, engineering, heavy manufacturing and car industries in Western Europe and show that the foreman was a multifaceted character who possessed technical expertise in addition to educational and organizational qualities. This comprehensive volume is further enhanced by comparisons with practices of supervision in Russia, Japan, China and India.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1Foremen in American and Western European Industry Before the First World War
1
Chapter 2Work Organization and Supervision in the Textile Industry
34
Chapter 3Salaried Authority
60
Chapter 4Secrets Lies and Contracts
83
Chapter 5To Organise Liberty
111
Chapter 6Wage Forms and Hierarchy in Late NineteenthCentury French Industry
131
Chapter 7Leading Hands at Work
145
Chapter 8Stealing The Souls Of Men
171
Chapter 9Porions and Conducteurs
191
Postscript
217
Contributors
226
Index
229
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About the author (2009)

Patricia Van den Eeckhout is Professor of History and Discourse Analysis at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussel. She has published on the historiography of social history and the history of social housing policy, working-class family income, consumption, advertising, leisure, social statistics and labor relations.

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