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1 STUDIES IN THE LABOUR PROCESS GENERAL EDITORS: DAVID KNIGHTS, Senior Lecturer in the Manchester School of Management at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology; and HUGH WILLMOTT, Lecturer in the Manchester School of Management at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology Since the appearance of Braverman's Labor and MonopoLy CapitaL, the impact of labour process analysis has been experienced in the fields of industrial sociology, organisation theory, industrial relations, labour economics, politics and business studies. The annual UMIST-Aston Labour Process Conferences have been influential in providing a regular forum for advancing empirical and theoretical analysis in these fields. By combining a selection of papers delivered at these conferences with specially commissioned contributions, the series examines diverse aspects of the employment relationship acrass the range of productive and service industries. Some volumes explore further the established terrain of management contral, the intensification of work, the deskilling of labour. Others are attentive to associated topics such as gender relations at work, new technology, workplace democracy and the international dimensions of the labour pracess.

2 SruDIES IN THE LABOUR PROCESS David Knights and Hugh Willmott (editors) + GENDER AND THE LABOUR PROCESS + MANAGING THE LABOUR PROCESS * NEW TECHNOLOGY AND THE LABOUR PROCESS * LABOUR PROCESS THEORY David Knights, Hugh Willmott and D. Collison (editors) + JOB REDESIGN Derek Torrington, Trevor Hitner and David Knights + MANAGING THE MULTINATIONAL WORKFORCE * Publishedby Macmillan Education + Publishedby Gower Serie. Standlnl Order If you would like to receive future titles in this series as they are published, you can make use of our standing order facility. To place a standing order please contact your bookseller or, in case of difficulty, write to us at the address below with your name and address and the name of the series. Please state with which title you wish to begin your standing order. (If you live outside the UK we may not have the rights for your area, in which case we will forward your order to the publisher concemed.) Standing Order Service, Macmillan Distribution Ud, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG212XS, England.

3 Labour Process Theory Edited by David Knights Senior Lecturer in the Manchester School 0/ Management, UMIST. Manchester and Hugh Willmott Lecturer in the Manchester School 0/ Management, UMIST, Manchester M MACMILLAN

4 David Knights and Hugh Willmott 1990 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provision of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended), or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 33-4 Alfred Place, London WClE 7DP. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. First published 1990 Published by TIIE MACMILLAN PRESS LTD Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 2XS and London Companies and representatives throughout the world British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Labour process theory. 1. Employment. Labour I. Knights, David, Willmott, Hugh 331 ISBN ISBN (ebook) DOI /

5 Contents Notes on the Contributors vi 1 Introduction 1 2 The Labour Process Debate: A Theoretical Review Craig R. Littler 3 Crawling from the Wreckage: The Labour Process and 95 the Politics of Production Paul Thompson 4 Understanding Conflict in the Labour Process: 125 The Logic and Autonomy of Struggle P. K. Edwards 5 Labour and Labour Process 153 Mark WardeIl 6 Managerial Strategies, Activities, Techniques and 177 Technology: Towards a Complex Theory of the Labour Process Andrew Friedman 7 A Ghost in the Machine?: The State and the Labour 209 Process in Theory and Practice Dominic Strinati 8 Gender and the Labour Process: A Reassessment 244 Jackie West 9 Fragmented Labours 274 Gibson Burrell 10 Subjectivity, Power and the Labour Process 297 David Knights 11 Subjectivity and the Dialectics of Praxis: Opening up 336 the Core of Labour Process Analysis Hugh Willmott Index 379 v

6 Notes on the Contributors Gibson Burrell is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University of Warwick. He is currently completing projects with colleagues at the University of Lancaster, including research carried out under the ESRC Competitiveness initiative. He is co-author of Sociological Paradigms and Organisational Analysis (with Gareth Morgan). P. K. Edwards is Principal Research Fellow in the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick. He has conducted research on workplace industrial relations and patterns of industrial conflict. His publications include Conflict at Work and Managing the Factory. Andrew Friedman is Lecturer in Economics at the University of Bristol. His current research concerns management strategies and works organisation in Computer Installations, comparing a wide range of countries. He is co-author of Industry and Labour, Computer Systems Management (with Dominic Cornford). David Knights is Senior Lecturer in the School of Management at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He has conducted research into industrial relations, equal opportunities for ethnic minorities and sex discrimination in recruitment. He has published in sociology and management journals. He is co-author of Managing the Multi-Racial Work/orce and co-editor of a number of books on the labour process. Craig R. Littler is Senior Lecturer in the School of Administration, Griffith University, Brisbane. He is the author of numerous articles and books including The Development 0/ the Labour Process in Capitalist Societies and Class at Work (with Graham Salaman). He is currently editor of the journal Labour and Industry. Dominic Strinati is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. He has published articles on the state, industrial relations vi

7 and corporatism and is the author of Capitalism, the State and Industrial Relations. Paul Tbompson is Professor in the School of Organisation Studies at Lancashire Polytechnic. He is co-author of The Nature 0/ Work and Working the System (with Eddie Bannon). His current intellectual interests focus upon the development of a critical account of the theory and practice of organisations. Mark WardeIl is Associate Professor of Sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has published in a variety of sociological journals and is co-editor of Sociological Theory in Transition. He is currently studying the relation between dass formation and changes in the labour process in the US bituminous coal industry. Jackie West is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bristol. Her main teaching and research interests are in gender relations and economic sociology. She has published articles on various aspects of women's work including dass theory, new technology and women returners. She is editor of Work, Women and the Labour Market. Hugh Willmott is Lecturer in the School of Management at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. His recent research has been on the ESRC-funded studies of accounting regulation and the strategic development of the personnel specialism. He has published in a wide range of social science journals and is co-editor of a number of books on the labour process. vii