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Title: Work humanization : comparative historical developments in the manufacturing sectors of advanced capitalist societies, 1960-1995
Author: Vernon, Guy Mark
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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The thesis draws on official statistics to examine comparative historical developments in the humanization of work in manufacturing industry, engaging with vital debates on societal distinctiveness. The empirical analysis spans the manufacturing sectors of eleven of the leading industrialised nations over the period 1960-95. This substantive core of the thesis is informed by an examination of research method in the field of employment relations. Initial assessment of the availability and construct validity to aggregate statistical indicators of the humanization of work results in consideration of three phenomena; the rate of incidence of fatal injuries, average annual hours actually worked, and the relative extent of managerial hierarchy. Detailed assessment of the conceptual basis of the available statistics then follows, with the aim of obtaining historically consistent and cross-nationally comparable data on these aspects of work humanization. Although dependable data on fatalities and hours are derived, the limits of the aggregate indicator of managerial hierarchy are ultimately stressed. The comparative historical patterns in the data are then examined for evidence of cross-national convergence in experiences of work humanization. With little indication of any historic convergence apparent the analysis turns to consider the forces which may shape distinctive societal experiences. Quantitative gauges of the shape of the broad political economy are assembled, with a particular attention focused on the quantitative characterisation of the power resources of employees, whether collective or individual. The meaning of these necessarily crude indicators is given extensive consideration. The thesis culminates in separate panel econometric investigations of the political economic characteristics associated with comparative fatal injury incidence and actual annual hours of work. Substantial evidence is presented that the humanization of work is associated with an attenuation of the vulnerability of employees to managerial prerogative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TS Manufactures ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor