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Title: Workplace organisation amongst local authority manual workers
Author: Kessler, Ian J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3597 8103
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1983
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This is a study of workplace organization amongst local authority manual workers. The first part of the work reviews research into workplace organization and, in stressing the rather narrow focus of such research, notes the relative absence of empirical data on newly-formed steward organizations in the public and private service sectors. A discussion of local authority industrial relations indicates that this sphere provides both an opportunity to increase the stock of knowledge on these newer organizations and a chance to analyse the structure and development of organization in a very different employment context. An analytical framework is developed which seeks to accommodate the distinctive features of the local authority employment context. The bulk of the study is then devoted to the application of this framework to four different local authorities. An attempt is made to distinguish variations in organizations both within the authorities, according to occupation, and between authorities, according to the unity or fragmentation displayed across the whole of the manual workforce. The explanation of the variations revolves around the constraints placed upon union and management behaviour by the structure of different types of local authority. Three structural features are seen to have a particularly powerful influence upon workplace organizations: functions performed, geographical size and urban-rural balance. While these features do not preclude a degree of independent union and management action, they set important limits to such action and enable fundamental distinctions to be made in the character of workplace organization between different types of authority. This analysis of workplace organization amongst local authority manual workers provides a basis for the development of a model of work­place organization founded upon completely different assumptions to the previously dominant 'engineering paradigm'. It is suggested that this new model may help in an understanding of workplace organization developing in industries sharing similar conditions of work with local government. Even in radically different industries, the model prompts recognition of the need to focus upon the occupational composition and geographical disposition of a workforce in analysis of workplace organization.
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