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Willing and social work participation : socio-cultural rationalisation in industrial organisation

By Denise Elizabeth Faifua


In this thesis I interrogate the possibility of 'willing and social' work participation in industrial organisation. I draw on Habermas's (1976, 1979, 1984 & 1987) work to synthesise marxist and weberian ideas, and to derive a socio -cultural or cultural Marxist perspective on Capitalism. From this position I highlight the limitations of social action in theories of organisation and work. Moreover, I theoretically derive a model of work participation that acknowledges broader orientations to work. I interrogate that model of work participation in a study of four dominant forms of industrial organisation. Those organisations are SEQEB the South East Queensland Energy Board, Eagle Boy Pizzas in Queensland, the New South Sugar Milling Cooperative Ltd, and Budge -Ellis Staff Co-operative. Gathering data for this study involved both primary and secondary research. I used a comparative and longitudinal field research approach, unstructured interviews with an interview guide, and the collection of documents recommended by interviewees. I interviewed people working in the organisations and relevant government agencies. My research involved travel in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Ultimately, I produce a sociologically informed model for the establishment of 'willing and social' work participation. I conclude work participation exists within the context of capitalism, and social relations - either formally free or free; that work participation is directly influenced by rational configurations of the world of work comprising economic, political and social worldviews; and I argue the dominance of a worldview depends on whether the political action premises of buffering and shoring successfully neutralise competing worldviews; and whether the moral dictums or espoused values of work are prescribed or invoked and result in the exploitation or deployment of internal values. My thesis points in the direction of further work on co-operative forms of organisation and work and their commonweal ideologies. In particular, my findings demonstrate a crowding out of co-operative forms and ideologies, not only by capitalist forms but also by trade union collectives. The type of research I suggest has the potential to increase the legitimation of co-operative forms of organisation. Although, the Australian co-operative movement has many achievements there remains the problem of establishing a socially progressive rationality that makes practical or operational sense to people at work. The emancipator ideal of willing and social work participation is intended to epitomise the goals of the enlightenment project, and to lead in that direction

Topics: Socio-cultural, rationalism, Capitalism, Expropriation, ownership, means of production, capitalist, Appropriation, status rights, economic advantage, Socially integrating principles, social orientations, values, social order, Social relation, plurality, actors, Formallyfree, free social relations, restrictions, return of profit, individuals, community
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2001
OAI identifier:

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