For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Political Efficacy at Work: The Connection between More Autonomous Forms of Workplace Organization and a More Participatory Politics"

by Elden, Maxwell J (1981)

Abstract

Carole Pateman (1970) argued that democratized industrial authority structures would require workers to develop precisely the skills and resources necessary for participation in political life beyond the workplace. She based her argument on a close analysis of classical democratic theory and the indirect empirical evidence available at the time concerning workplace-related political participation. Although a great deal of research in industrial psychology and sociology and organization behavior is available, none treats expressly political correlates of workplace democracy. Analysis of data from a new factory designed on the basis of semi-autonomous, self-managing work groups provides empirical evidence directly supporting Pateman. The analysis also results in empirically grounded scales that differentiate between work humanization and work democratization. The latter correlates significantly with a sense of political efficacy. Further research to support democratizing industrial authority structures seems warranted for a political science that would contribute to a more participatory politics.

Keywords

Democracy, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, Organisation Behaviour, Autonomy, Humanisation, Participatory Politics, Political Science

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