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Work Organization Essay

1289 words - 6 pages

There is no honest answer to “who changes work organization”. The changes to work develop from the constant battle between employee and employer over workplace control. Additionally managers, unions and the state bring other variables to the mix, each collectively shaping our workplaces. Numerous types of changes can occur; all of which have an effect on the workers psychological feelings. Finding the balance between worker and employer goals is essential for maintaining business quota and respecting worker feelings. Sociologist perspectives can help us understand how and why these changes occur in the workforce.

It’s very common in most employment relationships for the worker and the ...view middle of the document...

Numerous sources cause the structure and shaping of work to change. Due to their significant control, management, unions and the state are the most influential sources for organizing work.

Managers are the authority figure with the closest connection to what actually goes on in the workplace. They monitor employees and business operations. Ensuring a balance between the two is the most challenging task that managers face.

Krahn, Lowe and Hughes (2007) mention that maintaining orderly and harmonious social relations among people who are not equals has always been a problem for those in power. Another pressing concern involves motivating workers to achieve the quantity and quality of output considered necessary by management. Employers do not have complete control over the amount of effort expended by employees. Hence, conflict often erupts over different perceptions of the right amount of effort given a specific wage and work situation.

Managerial methods can be divided into scientific management and human relations. The way work is shaped can be greatly dependent on the approach used in the work place. Scientific management is much more structured; people are there to do their job in a repetitive and orderly fashion. Human relations however is much more concerned about the worker and their psychological work needs.

Many employers wouldn’t be who they are without their employees. Although employers hold the majority of the power, employees have the opportunity to use unions as leverage against their employer’s power. Collective bargaining, lockouts and strikes also shape work. Unions allow employees the opportunity to challenge the employer on workplace changes.

Overtime the laws governing employment in Canada have changed immensely. Gone are the 12-hour workdays and the $0.75 per hour wages. The majority has been initiated by economic change, but human rights awareness deserves a little credit also. Changes to federal and provincial employment laws are granted in support of worker rights and have been big contributors to how work has been shaped. Above employers, government holds the most power to change the way we do work.

The past century clearly demonstrated scientific management, with strict control over employees working mostly in repetitive assembly line type jobs. Attempts to reform work introduced human relations and its softer approach to managing employees. In attempt to increase productivity and efficiency recent years have shown downsizing, outsourcing, organizational restructuring and new technologies in workplaces everywhere. Again we see that these are capital changes, and not introduced with the employee in mind. That is why most of the recent forms of management use human relations to extract greater productivity by providing workers with a greater scope of control over their work processes (Athabasca University, p 114).

At this rate technology is the biggest threat to the satisfaction and...

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