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Unformatted text preview: Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 27 September 2010 Most important… soc 313 Instructor: QUINCY EDWARDS • 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 viewing the supplemental Powerpoint presentations. • Laulima is the University of Hawai‘i on‐line course management system. Links to the discussion board and other salient features are provided at: https://laulima.hawaii.edu/ SURVEY OF SOCIOLOGY OF WORK THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF WORK (4TH Online Fall 2010 Instructor: Quincy Edwards ED.) INDUSTRIES AND TECHNOLOGIES PART III SOC 313: SURVEY OF SOCIOLOGY OF WORK Chapter Outline… • Technology • Organization • Technological Determinism • How Does Technology Influence Work? • How Do Organizations Influence Work? CHAPTER • The Growth of Bureaucracy 7 • Limitations of Bureaucracy Technology and Organization …and other readings • Direct Worker Participation 1 Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 27 September 2010 Technology and Organization Technology and Organization …the social relations of production comprising all material and non‐material means and techniques used to produce goods and services. Technology… Technology’s three components: 1. Operations technology. Technology 2. Materials. 3. Knowledge. Technology… Technology… MATERIALS: OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY The people and machinery that produce a good or service, along with the rules and procedures that pattern their use. Used in producing a good or service. Example #1: Materials in an automobile assembly plant are engine blocks, chassis, radiators, transmissions, windshields, and previously manufactured sub‐components. Example #2: Materials in a chicken‐processing plant are live chickens, scalding water, plastic wrap, waste bins, refrigeration packs, shipping crates. 2 Survey of Sociology of Work Technology… Monday, 27 September 2010 Technology MATERIALS (CONTINUED) KNOWLEDGE • Can be more or less uniform — important implications for • Required to operate machines. technology to be used. • Materials used to produce automobiles and packaged chicken — either very uniform or somewhat uniform, respectively. • Uniformity allows significant standardization (automation in the case of automobiles). • Materials in design, service, and repair industry are less uniform, include significant variability — limits technologically routinized production. • Production involves variability and uncertainty. • Production workers need thorough knowledge of technology and materials in order to anticipate and accommodate the unexpected. Example: Refer to Box 7.1, page 159 of text: FORMAL AND INFORMAL KNOWLEDGE IN NURSING. Organization… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE • Established pattern of relationships among various parts of an organization and among various employees in the organization. • Different organizations (government agencies, economic Organization organizations, religious organizations, political parties) have different aims. • Shared in common is their having identifiable structures for the attainment of these aims. Organization… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE (CONTINUED) According to organizational behaviorists French, Kast, and Rosenzweig, the structure of economic organizations consists of the following parts: Organizational chart plus job description: The pattern of formal relationships and duties. Differentiation: The way various activities or tasks are assigned to different departments and people in the organization. Technological Determinism Integration: The way these separate activities or tasks are coordinated. Authority structure: The power, status, and hierarchical relationships within the organization. Administrative structure: The planned and formalized policies and procedures that guide and control the activities and relationships of people in the organization. 3 Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 27 September 2010 Technological Determinism… Technological Determinism… TECHNOLOGY…influences those organizational structures that are viable and most effective. British organizational analyst Joan Woodward demonstrated a connection between type of production and resulting organizational structures: • Small batch or unit production (shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing) Do forms of technology determine resulting organizational structures? characterized by relatively low ratio of managers to workers — low vertical complexity. Is our future technologically determined? • Large batch or mass production (automobiles, light manufacturing) characterized by front‐line supervisors responsible for many workers and high centralization of power. • Continuous process production (chemical or petroleum manufacture) characterized by more decentralized power and decision making. Woodward also noted the importance of the fit between technologies and organizational structures for organizational effectiveness. Technological Determinism… Diverse organizational forms are competing effectively in world markets of the 21st C. This has introduced new opportunities and challenges for economic organizations and those who work within them. There is substantial overlap between concepts of technology and organization —for example, the division of labor and the assignment of workers to different tasks. Closely interrelated, both technology and organization influence the nature of work. TECH‐ NOLOGY NATURE OF WORK How Does Technology Influence Work? ORGANI‐ ZATION How Does Technology Influence Work?… CHANGING TECHNOLOGIES Stages in development: 1. Simple Tool Technology—knowledge and ability to fashion simple hand tools from stone and bone, and woven baskets. 2. Craft Technology—division of labor into different crafts (ironworking, glass blowing, boot‐making). 3. Mass‐Production Technology—depends on availability and integration of variety of specialized goods and services into mechanized production operation. 4. Microchip Technology—sophisticated use of numerical control processes and electronic microprocessors; leading to automation of many production processes and almost instantaneous collection and tabulation of data about production. How Does Technology Influence Work?… CHANGING TECHNOLOGIES (CONTINUED) In the late 20th C. workplace, workers produced more goods (of greater variety) than ever before possible. Development of new technologies resulted in: • Increased productivity. • Possibility of shorter hours. • Increased safety. • Greater employment security. • Material abundance for all members of society. 4 Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 27 September 2010 How Does Technology Influence Work?… WHAT EXACTLY IS SKILL? How Does Technology Influence Work?… WHAT EXACTLY IS SKILL? (CONTINUED) Job complexity—the level, scope, and integration of physical, mental, or interpersonal tasks on a job. Training time—the amount required to qualify for the job is often taken as an indicator of the level of skill required. Job diversity—the number of different tasks and responsibilities required by a job. Tacit skillsmany can only be learned by long experience on the job. Generally involve the ability to evaluate a range of options in determining how to proceed with a given task. Job autonomy—implies self‐direction and the potential for creative improvisation. (Refer to Box 7.2 on page 163 of text: The Working Knowledge of a Machinist.) How Does Technology Influence Work?… ACQUIRING NEW SKILLS How Does Technology Influence Work?… ACQUIRING NEW SKILLS (CONTINUED) Between 1940 and 2005, the average level of formal education of workers 25 years and older increased from 8.6 years to 13.4 years. Due to changing skill requirements, workers acquired additional training in various ways: WORKERS NEEDING MORE THAN HIGH WAYS IN WHICH SCHOOL TRAINING FOR CURRENT JOB TRAINING WAS ACQUIRED 52.1% Attended training school or college. 50.1% Informal on‐the‐job training. 17.5% Friends, relatives, hobbies, or avocations. 3.5% Armed forces training. 1.4% Correspondence courses. The sources workers use for acquiring job skills vary by occupation. Enrollment in community colleges/vocational schools—now exceeds four‐year colleges. Formal company training program. 5.9% Community Colleges and Vocational Training: Enrollment in four‐year colleges—steadily increasing. SOURCES WORKERS USE FOR ACQUIRING JOB SKILLS Four‐year colleges Community colleges Vocational schools OCCUPATIONS Teachers, engineers, social workers, accountants, and other professionals. Medical, dental and biological technicians, computer and electronics technicians, aircraft and power plant maintenance, computer programming, business management, hotel management. Hairdressing, upholstery, automobile mechanics, refrigeration technology, truck driving. NOTE: These percentages total more than 100% ‐‐ some workers made use of more than one source. How Does Technology Influence Work? ACQUIRING NEW SKILLS (CONTINUED) Apprenticeship Programs: • Skilled craft workers —Formal apprenticeship training programs. • Skilled construction trades —Must adhere to national standards and involve combination of classroom instruction and supervised on‐the‐job training—typically lasts from two to six years. • Skilled factory workers • Police officers • Telephone installers and repairers How Do Organizations Influence Work? —Likely to learn skills in company‐sponsored training programs—no national standards for these programs and may not produce credentials that are universally acknowledged. 5 Survey of Sociology of Work How Do Organizations Influence Work?… THE DIVISION OF LABOR Monday, 27 September 2010 How Do Organizations Influence Work?… THE DIVISION OF LABOR (CONTINUED) The Social Division of Labor: The Manufacturing Division of Labor: • Division into different crafts or trades—typical of work in feudal society. • Separates the different activities involved in each craft. • Results in more efficient production and better‐quality goods. • Produces efficiencies in handling materials and rhythm of work. • Main organizational structures of work were feudal relations in the rural areas and guild structures in the cities. • May also involve assignment of different parts of job to different workers. • Analysis of labor—breaking down of task into parts. • Workers paid less for parts of task requiring less skill—price of goods lowered. • Then possible to develop machinery to do some tasks previously done by hand. How Do Organizations Influence Work?… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AS CONTROL Workers’ tasks finely subdivided—suffer loss of skill, loss of power, loss of wages. How Do Organizations Influence Work?… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AS CONTROL (CONTINUED) American economist Richard Edwards categorized the control of the labor process into stages. Direct Personal Control: Power and income of those who organize labor of others increases. Productivity increases—development of machinery to help with some tasks. • Owner shows workers how to do work, indicates proper pace. • Owner evaluates workers, and rewards (promotions, raises) or punishes (firings) them according to performance. • Today, direct personal control used in small enterprises. Organization of work—the means through which employees are controlled and manipulated. How Do Organizations Influence Work?… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AS CONTROL (CONTINUED) Foreman’s Control: • Used in large enterprises; replaces direct personal control. • Owner hires foremen who recruit and supervise workers. • Still exists in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping. • Proved inadequate for organizing work under mass‐production systems that need more coordination and more standardization. How Do Organizations Influence Work?… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AS CONTROL (CONTINUED) New systems of control were developed in an effort to implement more standardized procedures in mass‐production industries. Scientific Management—a system developed by American industrial engineer Frederick Taylor. (Refer to Box 7.3 on page 167 of text.) • Taylor believed there was “one best way” to do every task. Discovered by first carefully observing how workers did the task, then devising a more efficient way to do it. • Also concerned with “soldiering”—when workers would work well below their capacity. • His solution? Fire skilled workers and replace with less skilled workers who could be trained to do the work his way. 6 Survey of Sociology of Work How Do Organizations Influence Work?… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AS CONTROL (CONTINUED) Monday, 27 September 2010 How Do Organizations Influence Work?… ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AS CONTROL (CONTINUED) Technical Control: Worker Resistance: • Like scientific management, developed to standardize work procedures in mass‐production industries. • Scientific management and technical control rob workers of their enthusiasm for work. • Worker is controlled and paced by the machinery (assembly line). • Employees alienated from their work may engage in worker resistance— allow production to lag, take little initiative in increasing productivity. • Technical control of work is the most rigid form yet developed. • “Dehumanized” workers may organize to resist scientific management and technical control. How Do Organizations Influence Work?… REDISCOVERING THE WORKER The Hawthorne Effect: In 1927, the human relations school of industrial relations emerged after studies at Western Electric Co.’s Hawthorne (Chicago) plant. • Researchers found that any change in procedures (including various lighting levels and break schedules) resulted in increased productivity. • Added social attention, regardless of its content, increased productivity—known as the “Hawthorne effect.” The Growth of Bureaucracy • “Economic man,” proposed by scientific management, could be manipulated by wage rates and incentive plans. Human relations theorists proposed a vision of “social man,” arguing that workers needed a positive social context within which to achieve maximum productivity. • More recent reflections indicate that workers are capable of resisting productivity drives they define as exploitive. The Growth of Bureaucracy… The Growth of Bureaucracy… DEFINING BUREAUCRACY HORIZONTAL DIFFERENTIATION The division of labor into component tasks. In the early 20th C., German sociologist Max Weber enumerated six characteristics distinguishing bureaucratic organizations from other forms of social organization: 1. Principle of fixed and official jurisdictional areas. VERTICAL DIFFERENTIATION The creation of multiple levels of hierarchy in complex organizations. SPATIAL DIFFERENTIATION The geographic dispersion of different aspects of production or different product lines among different plants, sometimes located in different regions, or even in different countries. 2. Principles of office hierarchy and of levels of graded authority mean a firmly ordered system of super‐ and subordination—supervision of the lower offices by the higher ones. 3. Management of the modern office is based on written documents (files). 4. Office management usually presupposes thorough and expert training. 5. In a fully developed office, official activity demands full working capacity of the official. 6. Office management follows general rules which are more or less stable, more or less exhaustive, and which can be learned. Weber referred to bureaucracy as the “iron cage of the future” for he felt that it stifled human initiative and creativity. 7 Survey of Sociology of Work The Growth of Bureaucracy… BUREAUCRATIC CONTROL Organizational rules spell out procedures—how the job should be done. These generally include: 1. The specific techniques to be used for a given task. 2. The criteria used for evaluating and promoting workers. Monday, 27 September 2010 The Growth of Bureaucracy… BUREAUCRATIC CONTROL Internal Labor Markets: • Help to increase value and effectiveness of human capital within organization—can be important component of organizational effectiveness. • Rely heavily on rewards and inducements to control workers. • Internal recruitment helps create expectation of advancement —important source of motivation for employees. • Internal recruitment reduces costs of training new employees. • Workers enter organization only at certain jobs—entry ports—their access to higher jobs through the job ladder. The Growth of Bureaucracy… The Growth of Bureaucracy… CUSTOMIZING BUREAUCRACIES Contingency Theory: Organizational structure depends on the environment that the organization faces. • If the market for a company’s product is highly variable, the organization will fare better with a relatively loose organizational structure. INFORMAL WORK CULTURES Based on social relationships that emerge among the people who work in an organization. Informal work groups—may facilitate the attainment of stated organizational goals, or they may develop their own goals, which can be either tangential or oppositional to the stated organizational goals. • If the market for a company’s product is highly predictable, more rigid structures are viable and may increase efficiency. • If the environment is so harsh that the organization’s survival is in question, centralized control is generally the most effective form of organization. The Growth of Bureaucracy… INFORMAL WORK CULTURES Based on social relationships that emerge among the people who work in an organization. Informal work groups—may facilitate the attainment of stated organizational goals, or they may develop their own goals, which can be either tangential or oppositional to the stated organizational goals. Limitations of Bureaucracy 8 Survey of Sociology of Work Limitations of Bureaucracy… TOP‐HEAVY MANAGEMENT An increase in the number of administrative workers has reduced the proportion of workers directly engaged in production. Administrative costs may take up too large a share of the budget—even overshadowing direct costs of production. In recent years, U.S. firms have increasingly sought to reduce middle management—create “lean” managerial structures with fewer intermediate levels and fewer managers at each level. Monday, 27 September 2010 Limitations of Bureaucracy… THE CENTRALIZATION OF CONTROL IN THE ECONOMY Bureaucracy also contributes to the centralization of control among companies. As firms have grown larger, a greater share of economic activity has come to be controlled by top managers of a few large firms. Conglomerates: In 2000, the 500 largest firms in the U.S. controlled 82% of corporate assets. Control of such huge market share by a few firms can lead to higher profits for these firms, but also higher prices for consumers and reduced employment. A Ruling Elite: This centralized control of the economy by a few large firms translated into the existence of a powerful upper class. Limitations of Bureaucracy… THE CENTRALIZATION OF CONTROL IN THE ECONOMY (CONTINUED) Limitations of Bureaucracy… REDUCED CREATIVITY A Ruling Elite: The centralized control of the economy by a few large firms translated into the existence of a powerful upper class. Bureaucratic Rigidity: Innovation and creativity may be lessened by over‐conformity to bureaucratic standards. • The richest 1% of the U.S. population owns over 50% of corporate stock. • Excessive hierarchy and bureaucracy—interfere with productivity rather than promote it. • The richest 2% also owns over 28% of the total wealth in the country. • Relatively closed social group with tremendous power. Members attend exclusive preparatory schools, colleges, clubs, resorts, and intermarry with other members. • According to George Ritzer, at some point, excessive rationality becomes irrational. • The heads of the largest corporations are almost exclusively born into their positions. Limitations of Bureaucracy… Limitations of Bureaucracy… CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY Externalizing costs: Externalizing Costs: A major concern in the 2000s is the ability of large enterprises to lower the costs of their economic activity by unlawfully dumping dangerous chemical waste into the environment, instituting dangerous work practices, and producing unsafe products. • In 1991, two years after the Exxon Valdez • Individuals and communities absorb the externalization of costs—lost health, destroyed communities, degraded environments (for example, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska). • 22 communities in Prince William Sound • Smaller scale repeated abuses may cumulatively be even more damaging. supertanker ran aground in Alaska, spilling 10 million gallons of oil, there were anecdotal reports of increased alcoholism, family violence, and other consequences of the disruptions caused by the event. and the Gulf of Alaska sued Exxon for damages suffered by residents – economic, social, psychological. asdfds • Exxon settled before court hearing. Saffron‐colored oil swirls along Alaska’s shoreline following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. 9 Survey of Sociology of Work Monday, 27 September 2010 Limitations of Bureaucracy… CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (CONTINUED) The Price Tag: Many social analysts argue that the issue of corporate accountability should receive greater public attention. Limitations of Bureaucracy CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY (CONTINUED) Whistle‐Blowing: Way for employees to fight back against corporate malfeasance—exposing clearly unlawful corporate actions. CORPORATE IRRESPONSIBILITY U.S. STREET CRIMES AND MURDERS The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly estimates that corporate crime costs the public $174 billion to $231 billion yearly. Yearly losses from street crimes are estimated at $4 billion — less than 5% of estimated losses from corporate crime. • Federal laws protect employees against retaliation by companies where employees expose illegal company activities that involve violation of federal laws such as the Clean Air Act or other environmental laws. Additional casualties due to corporate neglect: 14,000 deaths/yr. from industrial accidents. 30,000 deaths/yr. from unsafe consumer products. 14,000 murders each year in U.S. (considered an epidemic). • Company fraud against the government—also protected. • Such laws are difficult to enforce—negative consequences for employees can be devastating to their lives and careers. Direct Worker Participation… Theory X assumed that workers needed to be coerced (by threat of firing) or bribed (by promises of pay raises) into working harder. Direct Worker Participation Theory Y assumed that workers would be more productive if they received more humane consideration and attention. Theory Z includes a more active role for workers and views productivity as embedded in workers, in their skills and in their attitudes rather than in specific procedures. • In Europe—taken form in widespread use of autonomous work groups. Teams of workers have extensive control over decision‐making about their day‐to‐day operations and activities. • Increased employee participation is also typical of enterprises owned by workers. Review… Technology has advanced from simple hand tools to sophisticated microchip technology. Social organization of production has become more complex. Quick Review • Earliest division of labor replaced by detailed division of labor—tasks subdivided into many minute processes assigned to different workers. • Detailed division of labor and subsequent hierarchical and bureaucratic organization of workplace create own limits—inefficiencies introduced by top‐heavy managerial structures, lack of organizational flexibility, lost worker initiative. • Problem — establishing accountability in world dominated by large corporations. • Increased worker participation may improve some of the problematic situations associated with hierarchical and bureaucratic control. 10 Survey of Sociology of Work At this point, you should be able to: 1. Define the term social relations of production and its component parts, technology and organization. Monday, 27 September 2010 Ch.7 Discussion How might increased corporate accountability be achieved? 2. Identify four types of technology. 3. Describe how technology affects the skill demands of work and other aspects of work. 4. Identify how organizational structures are linked to the control of labor. 5. Explain the terms bureaucracy, line and staff management, and matrix organization. Proceed to discussion link at Laulima and engage! 6. Summarize the advantages and limitations of bureaucracy as a mechanism for organizing work. 11 ...
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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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