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Critically analyse the claim of labour process theory - Essay Example

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Critically analyze the claim of labor process theory Introduction The project seeks to make an analysis of the Labor Process Theory, which is a Marxist theory of the organization of work in capitalism. It is a criticism of the Scientific Management theory and was authored by Frederick Taylor during the early phases of 1990s…
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Download file to see previous pages The project makes an analysis of the theory in depth and the views of researchers and practitioners regarding the fundamental and inherent conflicts of interests between employers and employees at the workplace. In this context, the key elements of local management systems and controls are analyzed and the way they impact on different sections of the working class which hold skills and expertise which are not reproducible through machines or unskilled labor (O’Doherty & Willmott, 2002, p.2). Labor Process Theory The Labor Process Theory considers how individuals work, which people control their work activities, skills which they use for working and the way they are paid for their services. According to the views of Braverman, who was an industrial worker for a long part of his life in America, management steals the skills of workers in capitalist societies. In this was they act in the way of reducing the pleasurable character of work and the power that workers possess. They also reduce the wages of skilled workers to the level of wages of unskilled workers and at the same time increase the exertion on them too. The radical writers have been critical of the pluralist preoccupation with regards to the regulation of conflicts. They have focused more on how conflicts were contained and controlled, while the pluralists tried to divert attention towards the more fundamental issues of why conflicts generated at the workplace. In this regard, Hyman (1979) have believed that the existing structure of control and ownership in the industry were inevitable sources of conflict were dismissed as being external to the context of industrial relations. The radicals believed that undue emphasis was provided to the employers, trade unions and other institutions for coping with such conflicts and for identifying process which could be incorporated for maintaining industrial stability. Greater attention towards power is the main notion of radical writers as compared to the pluralist thoughts. This is not surprising as the pluralists have emphasized more on the resolution of conflicts and procedural reforms. On the other hand radicals see the power imbalance within society and also at the workplace being central to the characteristic of employment relations. At the workplace people who have ownership of the means of production enjoys power superiority over those who sell their labor in return of wages. This is highly demonstrated through the substantial inequality in the distribution of rewards at the workplace. Also the limitations of labor in the market is reinforced through the creation of social norms, beliefs and values which sustain the prevailing power distribution within the industry and inhibit the growth of political consciousness of the working class. Critical Analysis of the Labor Process Theory The Labor Process Theory is opened to broad sociological debates associated with the action structure dualism. While the orthodox school of thought tends to reassert the economic and structuralist features of Marxism, the deconstructionist or anti-realist position abandons the analysis which has been conventionally been oriented towards polarities of agencies and structures. Researchers have thrown insight into offering of instructive ways of understanding how subjectivity is implicated in the reproduction and accomplishment of the capitalist employment relati ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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