s313.c13.fa10 - SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work...

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Unformatted text preview: SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 Most important… soc 313 • Do take ownership of your education in this class by completing all reading and writing assignments on time and participating in on‐line discussions. • Read each of the assigned textbook chapters before Instructor: QUINCY EDWARDS viewing the supplemental Powerpoint presentations. • Laulima is the University of Hawai‘i on‐line course SURVEY OF SOCIOLOGY OF WORK management system. Links to the discussion board and other salient features are provided at: https://laulima.hawaii.edu/ THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF WORK (4TH ED.) Online Fall 2010 Instructor: Quincy Edwards OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS PART IV SOC 313: SURVEY OF SOCIOLOGY OF WORK Administrative Support and Sales Administrative support workers are employed in many industries to manage information and to help market the product or service. Developments in work organization and technology are changing the content of these jobs. CHAPTER 13 …and other readings Administrative Support and Sales 1 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 Chapter Outline… • History of Clerical Work • Transforming Administrative Support Administrative Support and Sales… These occupations have in common a rapid transformation driven by technology and the reorganization of offices and stores. New technology blurs the distinction between sales and clerical jobs. The outcome depends on choices made by different firms. • The Future of Clerical Workers • History of Sales Work • Demand for Sales Workers • Supply of Sales Workers • The Future of Sales Workers History of Clerical Work… • In general, clerical workers cannot expect to become professionals without further training. • Work of clerks—subordinated to that of professionals. Professionals require administrative support staff in addition to semiprofessionals or paraprofessionals they employ. History of Clerical Work _________ • When reading, writing, were uncommon skills—clerical worker well regarded and relatively high prestige. Clerkship served as training ground and apprenticeship for management. • Clerk had intimate knowledge of business, financial situation—often became confidant of business owner and sometimes a business partner. • Before U.S. Civil War, clerical occupations almost entirely male. History of Clerical Work… DEMAND FOR CLERICAL WORKERS • From 1870 to 1930—clerical workforce grew from 76,000 to 3.8 million. • Last half of 19th C.—proliferation of large, bureaucratic organizations— forerunners of today’s giant corporations. Government agencies also increased. • Need for more efficient organization—division of labor within companies. • After 1910, widespread use of cost accounting—greatly increased volume of financial records. Required additional workers to prepare, send, receive, and file records. • Greater specialization arose from (1) reorganization of work, and (2) development of office equipment. • Demand for clerical workers remains strong—low unemployment rate of 4.6% in October 2006. History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS • During Civil War, the U.S. Treasury Office—one of first employers to experiment with female clerks. • The usual young male clerical workers were in uniform— women were sought as replacements. (See Box 13.1, The Civil War Experiment with Female Clerks, on p.308 of text.) CHARLOTTE FORTEN GRIMKÉ WORKED FOR THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON, DC. DURING THE CIVIL WAR YEARS. • Other employers repeated experiment—major change was underway. • Clerical occupations changed from mostly male to mostly female. 2 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS The Treasury Department began employing women in clerical positions in 1862, during the Civil War. The first women were hired to use scissors to cut newly printed sheets of currency into individual bills. Large numbers of women were soon used in the production of new currency, the replacement of damaged currency, and the destruction of worn out currency. The engraving to the left shows female clerks at the Redemption Bureau, Treasury Building, "Counting Worn and Defaced Greenbacks, and Detecting Counterfeits.” Source: Office Museum History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS In the 1870s and early 1880s, female clerks were employed primarily as copyists. After the mid‐1880s, a substantial share (but never a majority) of female clerical workers was employed as stenographers and typists. (See 1888 image below.) An 1885 article stated, with some exaggeration: "Foremost among the great inventions of the age to expedite business, we may here name the Remington Standard Type‐Writer, the success of which has eclipsed the manipulation of the pen and thrown much of the prestige of chirography in the shade. This grand invention was first brought to public notice in the year 1873, since which time it has become an important factor to facilitate the operations of business in almost every law office, counting‐room and mercantile agency in the principal cities of Europe and America. This machine...now employs a large number of girls whose wages average $12 to $15 per week, and furnishes employment for several thousand operators in this city....The Bradstreet agency employs 60 machines in one office alone in this city, and about 500 in their several offices elsewhere. R. G. Dun & Company have also about five hundred of these machines in use in their business." ("A Valuable Invention," Manufacturer and Builder, 1885) At that time, office employees worked six days a week, and Source: Office Museum typically 9 hours a day. Lisa M. Fine (The Souls of the Skyscraper: Female Clerical Workers in Chicago, 1870‐1930. Philadelphia, 1990, p. 21) reports that "Of the female clerical workers listed in the 1890 [Chicago] census, 55.8 percent worked as clerks and copyists, 21.7 percent were bookkeepers and accountants, and 22.6 percent had jobs as stenographer‐typists.” History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS (CONTINUED) The Feminization of Clerical Work • Today’s clerical labor force—largely feminized. • In 2005, 97% of all secretaries and administrative assistants were female. 75% of all office and administrative support workers were female. Over 22% of all female workers—in office/administrative support occupations. ___________ • 1875‐1900: Employers sought supply of skilled workers and to minimize their wage costs. Native‐born white women—predominant clerical labor supply: 1. Had necessary training. 3. Clerical work attractive—status. 2. Accepted lower pay than men. 4. Competing sources of labor lacked necessary language skills and education. History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS (CONTINUED) The Feminization of Clerical Work (continued) • Substituting women for men often reduced total labor costs—especially in industries with large numbers of clerical workers. • Relatively high status of office work—attracted women from middle class and working class. Middle‐class women perceived office work to be consistent with their position in community. Working‐class women were provided a channel of upward mobility from the farm or factory. • Women could earn more in clerical work than almost any other line of work. • Often worked shorter hours than women in manufacturing. • But, as women began to dominate clerical fields—these occupations lost status—identified as “women’s work.” History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS (CONTINUED) Minority Women as Clerical Workers • After WWII, minority women became important source of clerical labor. • Entered the least skilled and most poorly paid jobs. • White women—more likely to be secretaries and receptionists. • Minority women—more likely to be typists, file clerks, and mail clerks. • 1970‐1980: Black female secretaries increased by 148%; Hispanic by 131%. • By 2005, nearly 13% of all office and administrative support workers—black; over 11%—Hispanic. History of Clerical Work… SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS (CONTINUED) Opposing Trends in Clerical Work Continued specialization tended to follow one of two trends—each of which affected supply of workers: 1. Professionalization—to “reserve” jobs for members of a profession and protect them from competition. Newly professionalized specialists often passed over for promotion to management jobs—knowledge was narrow. Women have since gained access to fields through university training: By 2005: Over 62% of accountants and auditors—women. Over 73% of human resources managers—women. Over 72% of insurance underwriters—women. 3 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 History of Clerical Work SUPPLY OF CLERICAL WORKERS (CONTINUED) Opposing Trends in Clerical Work (continued) 2. Clerical operatives—specialized in specific pieces of office equipment. Jobs defined by machinery they operated rather than by their knowledge. Often perceived as relatively short‐term workers—narrow specialization was distinct advantage from management’s perspective. Replacements could be quickly trained. Since WWII—changing gender composition in occupation of computer operator. Numbers of female computer operators fluctuated greatly through ensuing years—in 1960, 65% were women, but by 1970, only 29% were women; in 1994, 62% were women, but by 2005, 55% were women. Common to professionalization and specialization trends—costs of training borne by workers as part of job preparation. Transforming Administrative Support Transforming Administrative Support… OFFICE TECHNOLOGY • For the last 125 years, technology has had important impact on clerical work. (See Figure 13.3, History of Technology Used in the Office, on p. 312 in text.) • 1870‐1880—Typewriter and telephone revolutionized even small offices where all‐purpose secretary had to master both. In larger offices, became basis for displacing some workers, changing job content for others, and developing new specialties. • Figure 13.3 shows years that new technologies were first introduced (including electric typewriters, duplicating machines, photocopying equipment, audio recording equipment). Transforming Administrative Support… WORK REORGANIZATION Adoption of new technology, accompanying restructuring—often stressful for clerical workers and management. Technology—can degrade and deskill workers when it forces narrow specialization along with loss of variety, autonomy, and job mobility. Work reorganization affects three major dimensions of the job: 1. Job content. 2. Supervision. 3. Relations among workers. Transforming Administrative Support… WORK REORGANIZATION (CONTINUED) Job Content From 1945 to 1970—Secretarial work commonly organized by assigning one secretary (usually female) to a particular “boss” or group of “bosses” (usually male). • Secretary—variety and some degree of autonomy. • Upward mobility—successful managers usually took their trusted secretaries with them to more responsible position. • Secretary’s role required considerable interpersonal skills—liable to accusations of having exceeded limits of their authority or of not taking sufficient initiative. Transforming Administrative Support… WORK REORGANIZATION (CONTINUED) Supervision Electronic monitoring of workstations—replaced record checking by supervisor. Previously, where many clerical workers experienced one‐to‐one supervision by boss—today, are more likely to be supervised as a group. First‐line supervision often provided by another clerical worker promoted to supervisor. Often forbidden to socialize with former co‐workers—also unlikely to receive any further promotions. In rationalized office—supervisors rely on measurable criteria of productivity—many generated by new technology: Typists = Keystrokes/Minute Telephone operators = Response time to each call. Clerical worker absent to collect supplies, take a break = Timing device attached to workstation. Rationalization of clerical work—constituent parts of secretarial work were identified as separate tasks; workers specialized in those tasks. In practice, specialization does not always make clerical work more productive. 4 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 Transforming Administrative Support… WORK REORGANIZATION (CONTINUED) Relations Among Workers Under old system, secretaries’ autonomy allowed them to schedule breaks and lunches together; to cover for one another when office busy, or when one needed to run errand. New technology—clerical work often lonelier by preventing socializing. Some offices stagger breaks, lunch periods—workers cannot snack together. Also stagger shifts—so more or less continuous typing, photocopying, word processing available—clerical workers have fewer changes to meet each other. Can no longer cover for busy coworker or trade jobs with another. Some firms forbid clerical workers from talking to one another during work hours —claiming socializing reduces productivity. But depersonalization of jobs may contribute to lower work commitment and less cooperation with management. Transforming Administrative Support WORK REORGANIZATION (CONTINUED) Alternatives to Rationalization Many technological changes—potential to make clerical jobs more interesting and less tedious (e.g., photocopiers freed typists from retyping or handling carbon paper). Less routinized work—associated with greater job control by workers. Job enlargement—makes job “bigger” by adding previously separate tasks (e.g., bank teller handling many different types of transactions once handled by separate departments). Job enrichment—gives worker a fuller cycle of sequential tasks (e.g., a single worker in insurance firm may handle customer’s account from initial inquiry through underwriting and claims processing). Job enlargement/enrichment are alternatives to routinization. The Future of Clerical Workers… New technologies: Will they displace workers or lead to creation of jobs? Optimistic view: The Future of Clerical Workers New technology will lead to creation of clerical jobs; may improve efficiency, leading to lower prices, increased demand for goods/services produced. Pessimistic view: New technology will displace workers— job of record keeping and coordination done by clerical workers will be done mostly by machines. The Future of Clerical Workers According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, two of fastest‐growing occupations (1998‐2008) will be office clerks and computer support specialists. • Changes in clerical work—guided by three factors: 1. The technology. 2. The work organization. 3. The size of the firm. These three factors, in turn, affect degree of specialization, variety, autonomy on the job. • Additional complicating factor—ability of North American firms to outsource some types of office work overseas (e.g., to India, Singapore, Ireland). • Outsourcing allows clerical processing to proceed 24/7, and expansion of workforce to take place in countries with lower pay scales. History of Sales Work 5 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 History of Sales Work… • Goods and services were originally sold by their producers (farmers, craft workers). • Merchants not principally sales workers—their apprentices functioned as clerical workers in addition to attending customers. • In the past, sales work not necessarily distinguished from management, farming, craft work. Sales work, today, not necessarily distinguishable from clerical work. • Sales worker—responsible for shipping, maintaining inventory, keeping track of orders. ___________ • Specialized sales jobs accompanied the expansion of mercantile capitalism and manufacturing, extensive export‐import trade, and large‐scale distribution systems. • Large‐scale trade—created tiers of merchandising (wholesale and retail levels). • New forms of merchandising created specialized jobs for brokers, agents, and salespeople. Demand for Sales Workers Demand for Sales Workers… • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts retail sales occupation will increase by 736,000 jobs by 2014—an increase of 17.3% over 2004. • Expanded markets due to worldwide improvements—transportation, communication, credit arrangements. • Specialized sales workers—more important in reaching and developing new market areas. • Sales work is organized in many different ways. Depending on the marketing history of the product, the type of firm, and the knowledge expected of the sales workers, they may: 1. Work for wholesale or retail concerns. 2. Be paid on commission, salary, by the hour, or a combination. 3. Work as regular employees or independent contractors. Demand for Sales Workers… PRODUCT MARKETING Department stores first appeared in the 1860s and 1870s. By the 1980s, department stores accounted for 80% of general merchandise market. Many adopted the sales practices of the specialty stores they partially replaced: TYPE OF STORE PAID GENDER SEGREGATION Furniture Clothing, Fabric Department: Big‐ticket items—Appliances, Furniture Department: Women’s & Children’s Clothing, Housewares, Cosmetics, etc. Department: Men’s clothing Commission Hourly wage Commission Men Hourly wage Hourly wage; selling more expensive wear (suits) often paid commission. Women Men (for customers’ comfort and privacy) Such factors affect earnings and benefits, full‐time or part‐time nature of work, job security, and mobility. In 2005, male sales workers earned $690/week; females, $420/week. Demand for Sales Workers… PRODUCT MARKETING (CONTINUED) A second innovation—the self‐service store. Self‐service concept—adopted widely throughout retail tradeindustry. Major economic challenge to older, established department stores—fewer sales workers are needed; often pay workers lower wages than department stores. Consumers receive sufficient information to select products for themselves. Fixed prices, price tags, location maps and signs—make customer self‐sufficient inside store. Food stores post information on price per unit and nutritional composition. Ready‐made clothing carries tags with information on fabric care and cleaning. Demand for Sales Workers… PRODUCT MARKETING—the self‐service store (continued) Where It Began… Piggly Wiggly®, America's first true self‐service grocery store, was founded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. In grocery stores of that time, shoppers presented their orders to clerks who gathered the goods from the store shelves. Saunders, a flamboyant and innovative man, noticed this method resulted in wasted time and man hours, so he came up with an unheard‐of solution that would revolutionize the entire grocery industry: he developed a way for shoppers to serve themselves. Despite predictions that this new kind of store would fail, the first Piggly Wiggly opened September 6, 1916 at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis. Operating under the unusual name Piggly Wiggly, it was unlike any other grocery store of that time. Shopping baskets, open shelves, no clerks to shop for the customer — unheard of! Piggly Wiggly was the FIRST to: —provide checkout stands. —price mark every item in the store. —give shoppers more for their food dollar through high volume/low profit margin retailing. —feature a full line of nationally advertised brands. —use refrigerated cases to keep produce fresher longer. —put employees in uniforms for cleaner, more sanitary food handling. —design and use patented fixtures and equipment throughout the store. —franchise independent grocers to operate under the self‐service method of food merchandising. 6 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 Demand for Sales Workers… PRODUCT MARKETING (CONTINUED) A third innovation—large chains of stores. Located in separate cities, or parts of the city, but all carrying same products, and following similar personnel policies. Offer advantages that locally‐owned stores find difficult to duplicate. Chains—can buy in large quantities at discounted prices; advertise widely; develop uniform policies for workers and transactions in each store. Customers attracted by national brand names (e.g., Wal‐Mart). Chain and discount stores—account for 89% of department store trade. Have now largely displaced traditional department store. Demand for Sales Workers… PRODUCT MARKETING (CONTINUED) A fourth innovation—longer operating hours of many retail stores. Many convenience stores and some grocery stores—open 24/7. Tenant stores in shopping centers and malls—required to stay open during all hours mal is open (sometimes 12 hours/day). Expanded hours—need to hire more workers and arrange work shifts. Solutions: Hire part‐time workers—especially for peak times. Hire temporary workers for busy seasons (e.g., Christmas). A fifth innovation—long‐distance merchandising. Beginning in 19th C., firms sold goods through mail. Today, consumers shop over the Internet or by phone and mail order. Demand for Sales Workers… TYPE OF FIRM Sales work—organized differently in different firms. Large corporate employers—have sales department/division. Sales workers have relatively secure full‐time positions with salaries, fringebenefits, and may also earn commissions. Locally‐owned business employers—offer relatively insecure commission jobs. For example, in sales positions with real estate agencies and car dealerships, earnings depend on one’s social networks and skill. Direct sales—no store or other permanent place of business. Includes distributing products through house parties in customers’ homes. Telemarketing—popular technique for many workers in direct sales. Work carries uncertain earnings and no benefits. (See Box 13.3, Direct Sales and Mary Kay Cosmetics, on p.321 in text.) Demand for Sales Workers KNOWLEDGE BASE Most sales workers experience little upward career mobility (except in large companies). Pay in many jobs—minimum wage; many jobs are part‐time. Turnover—high, so employers invest little in training. Sales workers with greater knowledge of business and product—most likely to find upward mobility with employer. Supply of Sales Workers… Low‐paid sales jobs that require little knowledge and skill—disproportionately filled by women, minority workers, young people. In 1900—women were 25% of retail sales force. Supply of Sales Workers Today—women are 50% of retail sales force. Part‐time—28% of all sales workers. High turnover in sales jobs—opportunities for students in school. Hourly wages—often only marginally above minimum wage. Unlikely these jobs will become more attractive as careers—result of changes due to new technologies. 7 SOC 313: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 8 November 2010 The Future of Sales Workers… Two important issues affecting sales workers: 1. How is technology changing the content of their work? 2. How will it affect the number of available jobs? The Future of Sales Workers New technology simplifies sales work: • Many retail stores already use “intelligent” cash registers— simultaneously check stocks, control inventory, check customers’ credit records, record the transactions. • Scanners read product codes or icons that picture the product—no need for sales workers to know price of items. • Traveling sales workers find that technology keeps track of sales contacts, orders, and so forth, while they are on the road. These changes may effect a reduction in size of sales force. Review… • Clerical and sales jobs—grown rapidly in recent past; will continue to do so. • Change in content of jobs—developments in work organization and technology. Quick Review • For clerical workers—job content changed by assembly‐line techniques. • New technology may worsen trend—or reverse trend through job enlargement and job enrichment. • For sales workers—proliferation of part‐time jobs; greater use of relatively unskilled, inexperienced workers. • “Selling” the consumer—often taken over by advertising, self‐service retailing, other innovations reducing need for skilled sales workers. • Sales workers with specialized or technical knowledge of product —likely to retain greater control and influence. At this point, you should be able to: 1. Describe the history of clerical work and sales work. 2. Describe the feminization of clerical work. 3. Explain the effects that technology has had in transforming clerical and sales work. 4. Describe how changes in the organization of sales and clerical work have changed the jobs. 5. Describe the factors that influence the demand for clerical and sales work. 6. Describe the factors that influence the supply of clerical and sales workers. Ch.13 Discussion Some experts think the number of clerical jobs will increase, while others expect a decrease. With which position do you agree, and why? Proceed to discussion link at Laulima and engage! 8 ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2010 for the course SOC 313 taught by Professor Edwards during the Fall '10 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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