An analysis of value theory, the sphere of production and contemporary approaches to the reorganisation of workplace relations
This project considers contemporary theoretical and practical approaches to the restructuring of work relations by engaging with dominant traditions within micro-economic analysis. It is proposed that a full understanding of the contemporary debates can only be achieved by locating the various contributions within the history of social thought, specifically in terms of the different conceptions of value within economics which underscore different approaches to the world of capitalist work relations. The first section, Chapters Two and Three, considers the theoretical premises of orthodox economics and modern sociology. On the basis of this analysis we offer a critique of the popular 'Transaction Costs' approach to capitalist work organisation. The second section, Chapters Four, Five and Six, considers the dimensions of Marxist social theory. Chapter Four studies the Marxist approach to economic relations and the sphere of production. in Chapter Five we unify certain developments within Marxist economics and sociology in terms of an abstract understanding of capitalist production through a specific analysis of value theory and the method by which it informs an analysis of how the social relations of production endogenously determine the forces of production. in Chapter Six we use this method to offer a critique of 'Labour Process' theory in terms of its theoretical. understanding of the sphere of production, in the concluding Chapters Seven and Eight we return to the notion of restructuring and contemporary industrial relations analysis and offer a critique of contemporary debate determined by our understanding of the status of value within economics and social theory in general.