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Title: Attitudes and behaviour of workers in small firms in two industries
Author: Curran, James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3400 5836
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1978
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The thesis examines small firm workers in terms of three main areas: (i) the process of becoming a small firm worker; (ii) meanings and social relations associated with working in the small firm; (iii) participation in non-work social relations and world-views. Previous research on small firm workers argued that they developed a distinct set of orientations leading them to choose working in small rather than large firms. Within the firm, shopfloor workers were held to be highly involved in their jobs and to enjoy close personal relations with owner-managers. Outside work, small firm workers were assumed to be more integrated into the community and to have a deferential image of society. To test these views, 145 male shopfloor and supervisory workers in eight small firms were interviewed and their views compared to those of 88 equivalent workers in two large firms. Forty executives in the small and large firms were also interviewed. The ten firms were drawn equally from the printing and electronics industries which were chosen for the contrast they provided .on such aspects as size distribution of establishments, rate of technological change and trade union density. The results show that not only are several of the above views questionable but that seeing the small firm worker as having a fixed set of orientations is also inadequate. Rather he should be seen as a distinct social type with considerable variation in attitudes and behaviour related to a specific set of experiences, influences and social relationships. The small firm worker cannot, therefore, be simply defined in terms of the presence or absence of characteristics held to be distinctive of large firm workers. Theoretically, it is shown that orientations must be closely linked to situational constraints arising out of relations with significant others, the industrial sub-culture and the local economic and social order.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available