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Title: Formal and informal relations : comparative case studies of the privatisation of Russian and British railway repair plants
Author: Kiblitskaya, Marina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3598 938X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1997
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The thesis examines the role of formal and informal relations in the social organisation of production through a case study of two railway repair plants, one in Britain and one in Russia, both of which privatised in the course of the research. Although many Western commentators have noted the importance of informal relations in the social organisation of production, very little systematic research has been devoted to this theme, while in Russia it has only just begun to be a legitimate object of research. Moreover, most of the studies of informal relations have viewed their role within the framework of workers’ resistance rather than seeing them as a universal aspect of social organisation which perform functions for all actors and which are a contested terrain. This thesis studies informal relations as a field of conflict and compromise between workers and managers. The thesis is based on fieldwork carried out in both plants over the period 1993-7. In each case special attention is paid to a number of key areas of informal organisation: the management of the production process, the determination of wages, the differentiation of the labour force, the role of line managers and relations with customers. Both enterprises were state enterprises at the beginning of the research and were surprisingly similar, with a very formal hierarchical management structure and an extensive network of informal relations. The rigid planning system led to similar problems of meeting the plan, and similar informal solutions to those problems. In both plants the initial preparation for privatisation was associated with formal initiatives to restructure the internal relations of the plant, but these had very little impact. The striking contrast came when the plants were fully privatised. While privatisation for the Russian plant was a means of consolidating its privileged monopoly position, leading to few real changes within the plant, the British plant was subjected to a very radical restructuring which sharply reduced the significance of informal relations, although these changes were not made without resistance and informal relations began to take on new forms. In both plants the power of workers was at the same time being sharply reduced by the growing threat of redundancy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor