Managing Employment Change: The New Realities of Work by Huw Beynon

Managing Employment Change: The New Realities of Work

byHuw Beynon, Damian Grimshaw, Jill Rubery

Paperback | April 15, 2002

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Deregulation and decentralization have placed organizations in the driving seat of employment change. Drawing on seven case studies of large organizations, this book examines how organizations as the architects of the employment system are restructuring their employment practices. Rich data onthe experience of work collected from all seven organizations provide clear evidence of a general transformation of the wage-effort relationship based on cost cutting and increased work intensity. This increased work intensity is shown to be a consequence - intended and unintended - of changes to avariety of employment policies and practices, including changes to staffing policies (for example the trend towards 'lean staffing', and the use of new contracts), changes to the skills-mix and training provision associated with policies of 'delayering' and multi-skilling, and changes in workingtime arrangements towards more flexible and extended working hours. Such trends in employment practices have been interpreted as a return to the market as the institutionalized employment system, characteristic of bureaucratic organizations and strong trade unions, visibly crumbles. The analysis presented here rejects the notion of simple market determination andinstead develops an integrated and interdisciplinary framework for understanding the processes shaping employment change. Managers are seeking solutions to increasing market or performance pressures through changes to employment policies. However, these responses to budget cuts and market pressuresare shown to be mediated by the institutional, political, and social environment inside and outside the organization. Moreover managers are found in practice not to be able to control their environment or implement their desired policies with the expected outcomes. Despite the increased scope formanagerial initiative and the greater opportunities for shifting the risk and responsibility of adapting to new conditions on to labour, the attempts of managers to develop a strategic approach to employment change are proving to be largely unsuccessful. The book ends by calling for a renewal andrebuilding of labour market institutions to kick-start the process of reversing this fragmentation of the employment system.

About The Author

Huw Beynon is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of CRIC at the University of Manchester. He is the author of many books, including the classic Working for Ford, which have used qualitative materials to analyse changes in the organization of work and the operations of local economies. He is arguably the leading sociologist of work...
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Details & Specs

Title:Managing Employment Change: The New Realities of WorkFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.76 inPublished:April 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199248702

ISBN - 13:9780199248704

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Managing Employment Change in a Shifting Environment1. Understanding Change at Work2. Seven Case Studies: An Introduction3. Patterns of Work and LabourPart II: Innovation in Employment Practices4. Dimensions of Employment Change5. Staffing the Organization: New Patterns of Entry and Exit6. Bridging the Skills Gap? New Training Provision and Work Organization7. The End of Standard Working Time?Part III: The Costs of Change8. Drawing Together the Threads: A Question of Labour Costs and Work Intensification9. Work Intensification and Forms of ControlConclusion. Managing Employment Change: Who's Managing What?

Editorial Reviews

`This piece of research and this analysis removes the veil of the grandiose to expose and reflect upon the nitty-gritty experience of a working organization, with the hands of expertise proficient to empower us in our necessary and inevitable task of managing employment change.'Work, Employment and Society