Control, Power & Decision Making In the workplace - Lecture 7 Reading

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17 Apr 2012
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lecture 7 notes
MODELS of MANAGERIAL CONTROL
-Richard edwards tries to extend their theory of labour market segmentation to also de-
scribe the evolution of workplace control systems.
-identified 3 basic types of managerial control
-simple control
-most common in secondary labour markets
-employers regulate the labour process with coercive methods,
through a hierarchy of authority
-technical control
-achieved by machine pacing of work and can, replace the direct supervi-
sion of simple control methods.
-e.g. henry fords assembly line gave managers a power means of
controlling the pace of work.
-bureaucratic control
-evolved in large corporations in the core sector of the economy.
-has good salaries, benefits, rewards, environment, usually to
skilled labour and middle and upper class market. this employ-
ment package designed to win employees commitment.
-argues that the evolution of segmented labour markets, with different control systems
resulted in a socially fragmented and politically weak working class.
-critics: like, braverman, theory portrays workers as largely passive, undermining their
power of resistance.
Andrew Friedman emphasizes how workers resists, reshape and actively participate in
the management control strategies
-suggests frontier of control
-workers could gain control through union bargaining
-management may initiate work reforms
-responsible autonomy
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-a means of obtaining cooperation by granting workers
some scope for making task-related decisions.
-e.g. quality of working life
-opposite strategy is direct control (like simple control)
-involves strict supervision with very little job autonomy for workers
-Michael burawoy
-suggests that in many work settings employees actively choose to operate.
-they treat work bonuses as a game they try to beat
-there wont be resistance and challenges made to managerial
rules if workers have a fair chance of ‘winning’
-workers are often self motivated and requires no coercive
methods, since they agreed to follow the original manageri-
al rules.
-Buroway also describes the hegemonic organization of work
-in large corporations and government departments, employees often see their
own futures linked with the success of the organization.
-management’s goals and values are dominant, or hegemonic
-with responsible autonomy,
-makes good long-term commitment from workers to organization.
-with the rapid growth of computerized based information technologies, gave a rise to
-electronic control system - common in teleworkers
-could either be passive
-workplace monitored by security cameras
-or high active
-managers keep track of work performances electronically and
sends messages to those who are under performing.
-very intrusive
-however, this type of control system may not be effective
-managers sometimes cannot differentiate productive work and un-
productive work.
-they also are unable to get the sense of employee’s frame of mind
and their commitment to the organization.
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