LABR ST 1C03 January 24 , 2013
The Organization of Work under Capitalism:
**Key terms = panopticon, scientific management, deskilling, mechanization of
work, human relations
- Labour produces a surplus value for capitalists. The surplus value is the
source of profits
- Profits are consumed either as luxury goods or expansion to grow the
- Capitalist firms over time expand and consolidate
- Capitalism is constantly expanding system in search of profits
- system that is based on the exploitation of labour. Workers who are
alienated from the means of production are forced to sell their labour to
make a living
Capitalism is constantly expanding and highly competitive. When it doesn’t expand
or expand fast enough there is an economic crisis.
For Capitalists this poses as two questions:
1) How can I ensure my business remains competitive? INCREASE PROFITS
2) How can I squeeze out the most surplus value from my employees?
Limits to Extending the Working Day:
- Physical limitation of workers (people need proper sleep and food)
- Collective resistance by workers.
Surplus Value through Efficiency is shortening the time it takes the worker to
produce the value equivalent to their wages.
The Command and Control of Work:
- If lengthening the work day is a limited option in terms of increasing profits,
other needs must be used
- The first effort was to concentrate production by means of the factory system
- Capitalists also started to consolidate their businesses to increase their
economies of scale and their competitiveness
- Employers begin to assert more control over the work process and workers.
- With the birth of factory system, employers can directly oversee workers
- This surveillance allows management to increase their control over work
- Jeremy Bentham’s idea of a Panopticon as a form of control and power
Scientific Management LABR ST 1C03 January 24 , 2013
- A movement arising around the turn of the 20 century to assert more
managerial control over the work process by rationalizing it
- This movement was popularized by