The Politics of Working Life
How does the politics of working life shape modern organizations? Is our desire for meaningful, secure work increasingly at odds with corporate behaviour in a globalized economy? Does the rise of performance management culture represent an intensification of work, or create opportunities for the freewheeling individual career? This timely and engaging book, by leading authorities in the field, adopts the standpoint of the 'questioning observer'. It is for those who need an informed account of work that is accessible without being superficial. The book is unique in its multi-dimensional approach, weaving together analysis of individual work experience, political processes in organizations, and the wider context of the social structuring of markets. The book identifies central questions about working experience and answers them in a direct and lively manner. It has a strong analytical foundation based on a political economy framework, giving particular weight to the contradictory character of organizations. These contradictions turn on the competing demands placed on organizations and the different political projects of groups within them. This perspective integrates the chapters, and permits numerous scholarly debates to be addressed - including those on identity projects, gender and work, power and participation, escalation in decision-making, and the meaning of corporate social responsibility. This book is suitable for undergraduate and graduate classes in Organizational Behaviour, Business Strategy and the Sociology of Work and Employment. It will also appeal to the general reader interested in grappling with the complexity of the changing environment of work.
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Introduction Why and How Should We Think about Work?
Making the Links
The Questioning Observer
Connections and Contradictions
Structures and Choices
Economic Political and Ideological Processes
Structure of the Book
What Is Happening to Jobs?
Why Do Disasters Happen?
Cultures of Fear
Alienation and the Division of Labour
A New Workplace and a New Worker?
The Changing Character of Labour
Subjectivity Status and Satisfaction
Has it Become Harder to Balance Work and Family Life?
Modern Marriage and the Consequences of Work
Doing Time at Home
Is Technology the Solution?
Is Outsourcing the Solution?
FamilyFriendly Workplaces and the Future of Work
Is the Organizational Career an Outdated Concept?
Career as a Project of the Self
Gendered Career Paths
The Gendered Culture of Organizations
Changing Modes of Management?
How Is Performance Defined Measured and Rewarded?
Rise and Operation of PMS
Appraisal as Discipline
Performance Management Ritual and Symbol
Understanding Workplace Rules
Negotiating Budgets and Rules
Why Is Empowerment Hard to Achieve?
How Does Power Work in Organizations?
Why Participation Matters
Extent of Empowerment and Participation
Conditions for Participation to Work
The Politics and Economics of Safety and Risk Assessments
Is Decisionmaking a Rational Process?
Escalation as Group Psychology
Escalation as a Failure of Rationality
Persistence Failure and Rationality
How Are Markets Constructed?
How Do Markets Work?
From Managerial Capitalism to Shareholder Value
Option Pricing Financial Instruments and Corporate Scandals
Effects of Market Restructuring in the USA
Alternative Models of Capitalism
Varieties of Capitalism
Competing Logics Not Competing Models
How Is Globalization Affecting Work?
Myth and Reality
Contests over Effects of Globalization
The Global Economy and the IMF
The Regulation of Global Trade
Globalization and Work in Organizations
What Are the Opportunities and Responsibilities of Organizational Life?
Beyond the Stakeholder View
agerial analysis approach argue argument autonomy behaviour call centres capitalism capitalist career cent Chapter Coltan commitment complex context contract corporate Corporate Social Responsibility costs countries culture debate decision-making defined disasters discussed economic employees employment empowerment Enron evidence example expectations experience fact firms focus Fordism gender global goals groupthink Honda idea identified important increased individual industry interaction interests involved issues Japan labour market logic managerial means ment MNCs operation organizational organizations participation particular performance appraisal performance management Perrow political practice pressures production psychological contract question rationality reflect relations responsibility responsible autonomy result risk rules safety sector shareholder value Shoreham skills social society stakeholders standards strategy stress structures targets Taurus telework tion trade trade unions trends women work-life balance workers workplace
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