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Title: British employers and the development of industrial welfare, c. 1880-1920 : an industrial and regional comparison
Author: Melling, Joseph Leslie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3392 9105
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1980
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There has been no systematic study of the welfare provisions made by British employers for their workers in the decades, I880-I920. Research suggests that such an omission leaves an important gap in both economic and social history, and that welfare activities were of considerable significance in the- development of British industry. One of the most fundamental problems concerns the discovery of an appropriate definition and method of analysis of this form of welfare. Industrial welfare is seen principally as a relationship between the employer and his employees. The major formative influences on its development within industry were the production and market conditions in which firms operated, and the industrial relations which emerged in particular trades and industries. The comparison of firms within one sector, and of different sectors within a regional economy demonstrate the extensive experience of welfare activities in these years. Comparison of regions illustrates both the complexity of factors affecting the development of welfare services - influencing their qualitative character as well as quantitative scope - and the common themes which appear in quite distinct occupations. This pattern is confirmed by an examination of welfare in its broader social and political context. The agencies of growth and administration varied from the heterogeneous mass of friendly societies to the highly specific and tightly-organised employers' associations. Their welfare commitments tended to reflect the more general functions and priorities of the organisations concerned. The social context of much welfare investment is revealed by an examination of local community relations, and the ways in which welfare reinforced the images as well as material substance of local life. Such images form only part of the diverse and fluid ideology of industrial welfare, which was carried by currents ranging from scientific management and technical expertise to political philosophy and religious belief. All of these forces are evident in the interaction of employers' welfare and state social policy, with private provisions shaping both employers ' attitudes and government legislation during these decades of rapid economic change and shifting social relations. It is in this light that we must locate the development of industrial welfare over the period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor