For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Some determinants of work alienation"

by Mottaz, Clifford J (1981)


This study represents an attempt to examine the nature and sources of self-estrangement in work. The concept is defined using a discrepancy approach. Questionnaire data were collected from 1,313 employees representing seven occupational groups. The results suggest that individual work values interact with perceptions of the work situation to produce different levels of self-estrangement within each occupational group. Furthermore, multiple regression analysis indicates that job conditions are significantly more important than background factors for explaining feelings of self-estrangement. In particular, lack of control over task activities (powerlessness) and lack of meaningful work (meaninglessness) are found to be the most powerful predictors across all occupational groups. The implications of these findings are discussed.


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