Much of the hoopla surrounding quality circles, teams, and high-performance work systems has been based on anecdotes and very thin evidence. It has not been established that those employee involvement strategies amount to anything more than another series of management fads or ruses designed to get more out of workers without giving them anything in return. This revelatory book, written by some of the skeptics, lays some of the suspicion to rest.Based on their visits to 44 plants and surveys of more than 4,000 employees, Eileen Appelbaum, Thomas Bailey, Peter Berg, and Arne L. Kalleberg concluded that companies are indeed more successful when managers share knowledge and power with workers and when workers assume increased responsibility and discretion.The study of steel, apparel, and medical electronics and imaging plants revealed much. In self-directed teams, workers were able to eliminate bottlenecks and coordinate the work process. In task forces created to improve quality, they communicated with individuals outside their own work groups and were able to solve problems. Expensive equipment in steel mills operated with fewer interruptions, turnaround and labor costs were cut in apparel factories, and costly inventories of components and medical equipment were reduced.And what did the employees think? The worker survey showed that jobs in participatory work systems often provide more challenging tasks and more opportunities for creativity. Employees in apparel had higher hourly earnings; those in steel had both higher hourly earnings and higher job satisfaction. Workers in more participatory settings were no more likely than others to report heavy workloads or excessive demands on their time. They were, however, less likely to report involuntary overtime or conflict with co-workers, and were more likely to be satisfied with their surroundings. Manufacturing Advantage provides the best assessment available of the effectiveness of high-performance work systems. Freestanding chapters near the end of the book provide full documentation of research data without interrupting the narrative flow.
La sant au travail
Le drame de l'amiante, la " souffrance au travail " et l'explosion des maladies professionnelles déclarées révèlent une crise de la protection médicale des salariés. Ce livre, fondé sur des sources inédites, en montre les racines historiques. Analysant la concurrence de l'exercice médical en entreprise avec les spécialités du " facteur humain ", l'enquête révèle la récurrence, depuis les années 1940, des débats liés à l'actuelle réforme de la " santé au travail ". Ses carences, fruits de l'indifférence de l'État, d'une partie du corps médical et des partenaires sociaux, ses liens renouvelés avec l'eugénisme pointent une limite du " modèle social " français.
Poverty and Insecurity
How do men and women get by in times and places where opportunities for standard employment have drastically reduced? Are we witnessing the growth of a new class, where people exist without predictability or security in their lives? What effects do flexible and insecure forms of work have on material and psychological well-being? This book examines and challenges these questions.
From the author of 1491—the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas—a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs. More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed radically different suites of plants and animals. When Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, he ended that separation at a stroke. Driven by the economic goal of establishing trade with China, he accidentally set off an ecological convulsion as European vessels carried thousands of species to new homes across the oceans. The Columbian Exchange, as researchers call it, is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand. More important, creatures the colonists knew nothing about hitched along for the ride. Earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches; honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses; bacteria, fungi, and viruses; rats of every description—all of them rushed like eager tourists into lands that had never seen their like before, changing lives and landscapes across the planet. Eight decades after Columbus, a Spaniard named Legazpi succeeded where Columbus had failed. He sailed west to establish continual trade with China, then the richest, most powerful country in the world. In Manila, a city Legazpi founded, silver from the Americas, mined by African and Indian slaves, was sold to Asians in return for silk for Europeans. It was the first time that goods and people from every corner of the globe were connected in a single worldwide exchange. Much as Columbus created a new world biologically, Legazpi and the Spanish empire he served created a new world economically. As Charles C. Mann shows, the Columbian Exchange underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest research by ecologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City—where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted—the center of the world. In such encounters, he uncovers the germ of today’s fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture wars. In 1493, Charles Mann gives us an eye-opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination. From the Hardcover edition.
When black women were brought from Africa to the New World as slave laborers, their value was determined by their ability to work as well as their potential to bear children, who by law would become the enslaved property of the mother's master. In Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery, Jennifer L. Morgan examines for the first time how African women's labor in both senses became intertwined in the English colonies. Beginning with the ideological foundations of racial slavery in early modern Europe, Laboring Women traverses the Atlantic, exploring the social and cultural lives of women in West Africa, slaveowners' expectations for reproductive labor, and women's lives as workers and mothers under colonial slavery. Challenging conventional wisdom, Morgan reveals how expectations regarding gender and reproduction were central to racial ideologies, the organization of slave labor, and the nature of slave community and resistance. Taking into consideration the heritage of Africans prior to enslavement and the cultural logic of values and practices recreated under the duress of slavery, she examines how women's gender identity was defined by their shared experiences as agricultural laborers and mothers, and shows how, given these distinctions, their situation differed considerably from that of enslaved men. Telling her story through the arc of African women's actual lives—from West Africa, to the experience of the Middle Passage, to life on the plantations—she offers a thoughtful look at the ways women's reproductive experience shaped their roles in communities and helped them resist some of the more egregious effects of slave life. Presenting a highly original, theoretically grounded view of reproduction and labor as the twin pillars of female exploitation in slavery, Laboring Women is a distinctive contribution to the literature of slavery and the history of women.
Domesticity in the Making of Modern Science
The fourteen chapters of this volume directly challenge the strong historiographical opposition between science and domesticity by analysing the role of domesticity in the making of the modern sciences, especially astronomy, chemistry, horticulture, engineering, meteorology, natural history, oceanography, physics, and radio technology. The authors offer a pioneering reorientation of the traditional emphasis on scientific developments associated with institutional and professional realms, by placing at the centre of their analyses such notions of domesticity as the domestic sphere, the household, the home, the family, and kinship - both biological and 'fictive.' This reorientation, the editors argue, exposes the centrality of domesticity as a material, social, and symbolic substrate that critically shaped the historical development of the modern sciences globally.