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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Nirit Toshav-Eichner and Liad Bareket-Bojmel

This study sought to examine the attitudes of blue-collar workers toward job automation. The study examined the relations between job automation, fear of job loss and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study sought to examine the attitudes of blue-collar workers toward job automation. The study examined the relations between job automation, fear of job loss and self-actualization.

Design/methodology/approach

Using mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative analysis) with 539 participants overall, we examined employees' attitudes toward job automation through two separate studies conducted in a large public organization that employs blue-, white- and pink-collar employees. The blue-collar workers who participated consisted of waste collectors, gardeners and parking supervisors whose work is at risk of job automation.

Findings

We found that 74% of the blue-collar employees described technology as a “replacer” that simplifies and reduces human work activities, while only 3% perceived it as an “enabler” that could enrich their jobs and expand human potential. Fifty-three percent of the employees in the white-collar professions described technology as a “replacer,” and 36% perceived it as an “enabler.” Among pink-collar workers, 51% perceived technology as an “enabler,” while only 14% perceived it as a “replacer.” A positive relationship between job automation and self-actualization was evident for pink- and white-collar workers, but not for blue-collar workers.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on how employees in different types of jobs perceive technological advancements at work. A classification of the perception of technology as an “enabler” vs a “replacer” is presented. The relationships between job automation and self-actualization in different job types are explored.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2007

Emilie Hennequin

Career success such as it is classically modelled and measured is not necessarily representative of the perceptions of bluecollar workers. Therefore, the goal of the…

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4496

Abstract

Purpose

Career success such as it is classically modelled and measured is not necessarily representative of the perceptions of bluecollar workers. Therefore, the goal of the present study is to understand what it means to succeed in bluecollar occupations. A definition and a measure are useful starting points in explaining the individual's evaluation of success and in analysing the behaviour which results from it.

Design/methodology/approach

After a review of literature, in order to develop the theoretical framework for the research, 25 exploratory interviews were conducted with bluecollar workers in order to obtain their criteria for career success. The results are reported, together with the methodological decisions and a proposed explanatory model.

Findings

Success is traditionally described as having an objective and a subjective part. In order to understand the perceptions of bluecollar workers, it is necessary to recognise that their perceptions are influenced by material, psychological and social aspects.

Practical implications

The definitions developed in this paper could be used to develop employment programmes addressing the expectations of bluecollar workers, and to attract new employees to this kind of occupation. More generally, with the flattening of organizations, it is necessary to re‐evaluate the concept of success for all workers, and to develop policies that are appropriate to changes in the labour market.

Originality/value

The majority of career studies focus on “white collarworkers. Traditional career theory has developed models which consider that all the employees are guided by the same systems of values (status, power, wages, etc.). Thus, this paper fulfils a need to develop an understanding of career success from the perspective of bluecollar workers.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Marjolein Lips-Wiersma, Sarah Wright and Bryan Dik

The purpose of this paper is to compare the importance currently placed on meaningful work (MFW), and determine the frequency by which it is experienced in blue-, pink-…

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3573

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the importance currently placed on meaningful work (MFW), and determine the frequency by which it is experienced in blue-, pink-, and white-collar occupations.

Design/methodology/approachs

Using the comprehensive meaningful work scale (Lips-Wiersma and Wright, 2012) with 1,683 workers across two studies, ANOVAs were conducted to examine differences in dimensions of MFW.

Findings

While unity with others and developing the inner self were regarded as equally important for white-, blue-, and pink-collar workers, the authors data suggest that white-collar workers placed more importance on expressing full potential and serving others than blue-collar workers. The frequency of experiencing MFW differed across the three groups with white-collar workers experiencing higher levels of unity with others, expressing full potential, and serving others; however no mean differences were found for developing the inner self.

Originality/value

This study is the first to empirically investigate an oft-discussed but previously untested question: does the experience of MFW differ across white-, blue-, and pink-collar jobs?

Details

Career Development International, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Nick Lin-Hi, Lisa Rothenhöfer and Igor Blumberg

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how Chinese factories can attract and retain blue-collar workers. While higher wages are typically considered to be an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how Chinese factories can attract and retain blue-collar workers. While higher wages are typically considered to be an effective HR instrument in this regard, this paper argues for the relevance of ethics in the HR domain. To this end, the paper develops and tests the concept of socially responsible blue-collar human resource management (SRBC-HRM).

Design/methodology/approach

In a scenario-based experiment, 296 blue-collar employees from a Chinese garment factory responded to questionnaires measuring their job choice determinants regarding a fictitious employer. In the scenarios, pay level (average vs above average) and SRBC-HRM (good vs poor) were manipulated.

Findings

The results revealed significantly positive relationships between SRBC-HRM and Chinese blue-collar workers’ job choice determinants (employer attractiveness, employer prestige and recommendation intentions), which were moderated by workers’ perceived importance of employer prestige. However, there was no significant effect of above-average pay on the three job choice determinants. Moreover, average pay in combination with good SRBC-HRM had stronger effects on job choice determinants than above-average pay in combination with poor SRBC-HRM.

Practical implications

The study highlights the economic relevance of the ethical treatment of employees in the manufacturing sector. In addition, the findings challenge the predominant managerial view that monetary rewards are the most important factor for instilling productive employee attitudes and intentions.

Social implications

Poor labor practices are still widespread in factories in emerging countries. By indicating that SRBC-HRM improves factories’ bottom line, the study provides a powerful rationale for factory managers to improve working conditions.

Originality/value

The present paper introduces the concept of SRBC-HRM specifically tailored to the context of blue-collar workers in emerging countries, who have received little attention in the literature. In addition, the findings demonstrate the economic relevance of SRBC-HRM.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Marina Anna Schmitz

This paper aims to provide insights into current issues, such as changing expectations and needs of blue-collar workers, from both an employee and HR perspective, to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into current issues, such as changing expectations and needs of blue-collar workers, from both an employee and HR perspective, to provoke further research in the business context on this crucial cohort, as well as broaden the current understanding of Human Resources Management (HRM) measures and incentives implemented by the respective foreign companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 25 Chinese employees of German multinational companies working in the automobile industry located in Shanghai. Among them, 17 were blue-collar workers and 8 were white-collar workers (General Manager or HR Manager).

Findings

Besides factors attributed to work conditions, all of the work values are located in the individual domain, regarding their level of focus (Facet C according to Lyons et al.). Work values in the growth orientation domain (Facet B according to Lyons et al.) show a mix between context- and growth-oriented factors. However, context-oriented factors are still outnumbering the frequency of growth-oriented ones. Regarding the modality of work values (Facet A), all of the categories (instrumental, social, cognitive and prestige) were reflected in the answers of the blue-collar workers.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the limited number of interviewees no final statement can be made on how age, education, gender, or other demographics influence certain work values. Additionally, Inglehart and Abramson (1994) also mention other potential explanations for observed differences, such as inflation or unemployment rates, and per capita gross national product which were not discussed in this research. Furthermore, the HR management selected the interview candidates regarding the blue-collar cohort which could indicate biased answers of the interviewees.

Practical implications

HRM systems (e.g. reward systems or job design) should be adapted to meet the individual preferences of employees and be sensitive toward a potential value change among certain generational cohorts. The findings showed that although pay is still on the mind of the blue-collar worker, career development seems to be even more important for the future blue-collar workforce. Therefore, companies should as well consider non-financial retention strategies in the future.

Social implications

Due to the talent shortage in China, employee’s ability to assert their interests, wishes and values could be taken to a new level. However, this does not hold true for the (still increasing) flood of migrant workers, often suffering from bad working conditions or discrimination incurred by their hukou status. Although recent changes in the labor regime have taken place (e.g. social insurance reform and labor contract law), the protection of migrant workers still remains insufficient.

Originality/value

By examining the work values of blue-collar workers, this paper draws meaningful implications for talent management with regard to work outcomes, in particular voluntary employee turnover, which is considered to be an issue of concern by both economists and businessmen.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 10 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1986

Amy S. Wharton

Gender divisions are embedded in and essential to the structure of capitalist production. While most men and women in the United States both now work for wages, they…

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1710

Abstract

Gender divisions are embedded in and essential to the structure of capitalist production. While most men and women in the United States both now work for wages, they rarely work together. Gender segregation has been identified as one of the major issues of the earnings gap between men and women. An explanation of the forces responsible for this has been difficult to achieve. Most theories fail to consider the contribution of demand‐side factors to gender segregation. Neo‐Marxist analysis of labour market segmentation and theories of the dual economy have provided new frameworks for investigating these structural or demand‐side features of industrial organisation. The pattern of bluecollar segregation in US manufacturing industries is examined drawing on these theories. Employment data from the US census is used to identify how the levels of bluecollar segregation in manufacturing industries are influenced by the industry's location within the core or peripheral sector of the US economy. Many of segregation's proposed remedies stress the role of supply‐side factors. These strategies focus attention almost exclusively on male and female workers and ignore the structure of the workplace. Strategies that ignore the dualistic nature of the US economy offer only partial solutions and may be counter‐productive. If forced to eliminate or reduce segmentation, employers may simply restructure their labour processes in a way that undermines rather than contributes to gender inequality. It is apparent that the pursuit of gender equality in the workplace is intrinsically related to and dependent on the broader efforts of workers to achieve greater control over production, both at the workplace and in the economy as a whole.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2019

Amit Mittal, Rahul Dhiman and Parmod Lamba

The purpose of this paper is to explore the skill mapping process in a manufacturing organization and to examine its relationship with the select performance indicators…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the skill mapping process in a manufacturing organization and to examine its relationship with the select performance indicators, such as quality and defects. This paper also explores the role of the supervisor in the whole process of skill mapping of the blue-collar employees.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a case-based approach and the company selected is Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, Swaraj Division, located in Phase 4, Industrial Area, Mohali (Punjab). The qualitative aspect of the paper is based on ten semi-structured interviews of the senior-level managers. These interviews are conducted in order to understand the role of the supervisor in skill mapping process and its relationship with the organizational performance. The quantitative aspect is based on the regression analysis to find out the impact of skill index on select performance indicators.

Findings

The results of the study indicate that the role of the supervisor in performance appraisal is very important in the whole process of skill mapping. Swaraj is an example where a robust skill mapping process for blue-collar employees have supported the business in improving the skill of employees and consequently supporting the business to perform well on key deliverables, such as better quality and less defects. The select variables are inter-correlated and variations in the select organizational performance indicators (production and defects) are due to variations in the skill index of the blue-collar employees in the manufacturing organization. The performance indicators of the manufacturing organization in terms of manufacturing defects have declined and also the production has increased, which is a good indicator for the organization.

Practical implications

The present study is of interest to researchers who are trying to understand the system for skill mapping and utilization of appraisal inputs in improving organizational performance.

Originality/value

To the authors’ best knowledge, this paper is one of the first to address the skill mapping process in a manufacturing organization especially for the blue-collar employees.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Book part
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Stefano Fenoaltea

This paper presents the second-generation estimates for the Italian engineering industry in 1911, a year documented both by the customary demographic census, and the first…

Abstract

This paper presents the second-generation estimates for the Italian engineering industry in 1911, a year documented both by the customary demographic census, and the first industrial census. The first part of this paper uses the census data to estimate the industry’s value added, sector by sector; the second further disaggregates each sector by activity, and estimates the value added, employment, physical product, and metal consumption of each one. A third, concluding section dwells on the dependence of cross-section estimates on time-series evidence. Three appendices detail the specific algorithms that generate the present estimates; a fourth, a useful sample of firm-specific data.

Details

Research in Economic History
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-276-7

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Abstract

Details

The Creation and Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44450-256-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

Carlo Dell′Aringa and Claudio Lucifora

Existing research concerning the impact of unions on relative wagesprovides evidence for the existence of significant union/non‐union wagedifferentials. However, union…

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1295

Abstract

Existing research concerning the impact of unions on relative wages provides evidence for the existence of significant union/non‐union wage differentials. However, union practices are deemed to have a more pervasive effect on the overall distribution of wages, reducing wage differentials across and within establishments. Attempts to explore union effects on wage dispersion in the context of the Italian labour market. Several indicators of wage dispersion are computed, using both industry and establishment level data, in the attempt to ascertain the different routes through which union presence affects the structure of wages. The empirical evidence shows that Italian trade unions have pursued “egalitarian” objectives and have succeeded in shaping pay policies which, through central and local negotiations, raise low wages and reduce wage differentials both among skill categories and across establishments.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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