Kirsten Sehnbruch uses the case study of Chile to show the failures and inner-working of neo-liberal labour policy. She shows in detail what the real policy issue should be, namely the creation of proper institutions and of a corps of competent professionals with relevant skills and powers to operate them.Read More
The rapid pace of industrial restructuring and the emergence of new employment policies have focused attention on the role of employers in determining the quantity and quality of employment. This book draws on important new data from the ESRC’s Social Change and Economic Life Initiative to test, modify, and challenge much of the current academic literature on the determinants of employer policy and how these influence employment structures and individual employment opportunities.
The book begins with an authoritative synthesis of the influential debates on labour market segmentation, flexibility, post-Fordism, deskilling, the gendering of work, and the `new’ industrial relations. Ten substantive chapters then extend these debates in several directions.
The contributors make significant progress on three fronts:
• They suggest that the determinants of employer policy are both complex and strongly related to product market conditions.
• They find that employee attitudes and perceptions are critical to the implementation and effectiveness of employer policy.
• They explore the interdependency between internal employment policies and external labour market conditions and begin to develop an integrated approach to internal and external labour markets.
Labour market, work and economic development policy visions in many developed countries have been dominated in recent years by a fixation on skills. However, skill and skill development alone is not enough to harmonise societies, transform economies, galvanise organizations, and fulfil individuals.
This book discusses the impact of government policy, other institutional arrangements, organizational practices, collective and individual behaviour, on things of importance to many of us: work, employment, pay, work environments, learning, participation and voice. It is a unique volume of insights from leading researchers and research centres in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.Read More
The U.S. labor market is the most laissez faire of any developed nation, with a weak social safety net and little government regulation compared to Europe or Japan. Some economists point to this hands-off approach as the source of America’s low unemployment and high per-capita income. But the stagnant living standards and rising economic insecurity many Americans now face take some of the luster off the U.S. model. In America Works, noted economist Richard Freeman reveals how U.S. policies have created a labor market remarkable both for its dynamism and its disparities. America Works takes readers on a grand tour of America’s exceptional labor market, comparing the economic institutions and performance of the United States to the economies of Europe and other wealthy countries. The U.S. economy has an impressive track record when it comes to job creation and productivity growth, but it isn’t so good at reducing poverty or raising the wages of the average worker. Despite huge gains in productivity, most Americans are hardly better off than they were a generation ago. The median wage is actually lower now than in the early 1970s, and the poverty rate in 2005 was higher than in 1969. So why have the benefits of productivity growth been distributed so unevenly? One reason is that unions have been steadily declining in membership. In Europe, labor laws extend collective bargaining settlements to non-unionized firms. Because wage agreements in America only apply to firms where workers are unionized, American managers have discouraged unionization drives more aggressively. In addition, globalization and immigration have placed growing competitive pressure on American workers. And boards of directors appointed by CEOs have raised executive pay to astronomical levels. Freeman addresses these problems with a variety of proposals designed to maintain the vigor of the U.S. economy while spreading more of its benefits to working Americans. To maintain America’s global competitive edge, Freeman calls for increased R&D spending and financial incentives for students pursuing graduate studies in science and engineering. To improve corporate governance, he advocates licensing individuals who serve on corporate boards. Freeman also makes the case for fostering worker associations outside of the confines of traditional unions and for establishing a federal agency to promote profit-sharing and employee ownership. Assessing the performance of the U.S. job market in light of other developed countries’ recent history highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the free market model. Written with authoritative knowledge and incisive wit, America Works provides a compelling plan for how we can make markets work better for all Americans.Read More
Work and Politics develops a historical and comparative sociology of workplace relations in industrial capitalist societies. Professor Sabel argues that the system of mass production using specialized machines and mostly unskilled workers was the result of the distribution of power and wealth in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Great Britain and the United States, not of an inexorable logic of technological advance. Once in place, this system created the need for workers with systematically different ideas about the acquisition of skill and the desirability of long-term employment. Professor Sabel shows how capitalists have played on naturally existing division in the workforce in order to match workers with diverse ambitions to jobs in different parts of the labor market. But he also demonstrates the limits, different from work group to work group, of these forms of collaboration.Read More