SOC227H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Kaizen, Deskilling, Where We Are

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Published on 26 Nov 2017
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SOC 227 WORK & OCCUPATIONS
Session #9 -- CONFLICT in the WORKPLACE
Readings: Text, Ch. 10
KERVIN’S MEDIA ITEM
Bill148 designed to improve conditions for employees in the workplace
Law firms that are associated with managers started issuing reports and blog warning employers
about Bill148
Fair work places, better jobs act of 2017
Will alter the employment and labour landscape in Ontario
New leave of absence for employer if the child has experienced domestic violence or abuse
Pregnancy/parental leave extended from 6 weeks originally to 12 weeks for miscarriage, 35 weeks
originally to 63 weeks for regular birth
Paid emergency leave all employers are allowed 10 days of personal emergency days (2 of which
will be paid)
WHERE WE ARE
Last Time
Today’s Issue
Organizations need different management styles Which leads to conflict in the workplace (between
employees and managers
Three questions:
1.Is conflict between employees and manager inevitable?
2.Is it necessarily a bad thing, could there be healthy conflicts?
3.Is there a solution to limit or solve the employee-management conflict?
Today’s Objectives: Know…
The content of Braverman’s theory
Braverman’s contributions
Criticisms of Braverman
Basics of the Japanese management model
How management exercised control under the Japanese model
How workers resisted management control under the Japanese model
Terms to Know
labour process
deskilling
degrading of work
conflict of interest
kaizen
THE LABOUR PROCESS
Key concepts: Marx was wrong about the revolution, it isn’t in human nature to get rid of one elite and replace
it with collective decision-making governance. He was right about conflict between managers and employees
technology
power resources you have
control
resistance
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2
conflict
Braverman father of labour process theory
Labour process equivalent to work production process from the employee’s perspective (they provide
the work)
Other non-labour aspects:
Technology used at work
Organization of work steps in the production process, how is it organized, managed, run, etc.
Labour Process Theory
Objective: to take Marx and bring him up to date. Extend Marx’s analysis to the current labour market (update).
Explanatory theory, focuses on technology and its effect on workers
Focus:
1.How do organizations and managers use technology? How do they use it to organize and control
employees?
2.What are the effects of technology and management control? The effects on employees?
Summary Model of Labour Process Theory
Industrial Competition Need for Need to Control
Capitalism Efficiency Costs & Production
New
Mgt technology Deskilling Less Ee power
need of Ee resistance
for Division jobs More inequality & Ee-Mgt conflict
control of
labour
Steps in Braverman’s Labour Process Theory
Braverman: Two avenues of control:
1. new technology needs fewer workers, and the workers themselves don’t need as many skills
2. division of labour decided by managers, dividing up jobs into smaller jobs to exert more control
and monitor staff better and more efficiently (employees that do one simple task, do that task better,
consistent with scientific management), both of these avenues reduce the skills needed for work
deskilled requires fewer skills to do it
degraded it loses prestige and has lower value, gets paid less
Two consequences:
1.Less employee power
2.More inequality in the workplace find more employee resistance
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Document Summary

Today"s issue: organizations need different management styles which leads to conflict in the workplace (between employees and managers. How management exercised control under the japanese model. How workers resisted management control under the japanese model labour process deskilling degrading of work conflict of interest kaizen. Key concepts: marx was wrong about the revolution, it isn"t in human nature to get rid of one elite and replace it with collective decision-making governance. He was right about conflict between managers and employees: power resources you have, control technology resistance, conflict. Labour process equivalent to work production process from the employee"s perspective (they provide the work) Other non-labour aspects: technology used at work, organization of work steps in the production process, how is it organized, managed, run, etc. Objective: to take marx and bring him up to date. Extend marx"s analysis to the current labour market (update). Explanatory theory, focuses on technology and its effect on workers.

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