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Article

Peter Bowen, Valerie E. Elsy and Monica P. Shaw

The purpose of this paper is to consider how far different unions representing white‐collar workers fulfil the expectations of their memberships. In order to focus upon…

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to consider how far different unions representing white‐collar workers fulfil the expectations of their memberships. In order to focus upon this problem we intend to concentrate on the area of white‐collar membership of predominantly manual workers' unions: in particular we shall take as examples the cases of the steel and mining industries. At a time when major trade unions representing the white‐collar labour force are competing for membership on an unprecedented scale and when proposals for union amalgamations are currently being voiced, the appropriateness of union policies for this category of employees and their approval by the rank and file are of obvious relevance.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article

Ebru Kongar and Mark Price

Since the mid‐1990s, offshore production has become increasingly important in white‐collar, service sector activities in the US economy. This development coincided with a…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the mid‐1990s, offshore production has become increasingly important in white‐collar, service sector activities in the US economy. This development coincided with a stagnant gender wage gap in the service sector and a slowdown in the narrowing of the overall US gender wage gap over this period. This paper aims to categorize white‐collar service sector occupations into two groups based on whether an occupation is at risk of being offshored and to assess the relative contribution of these two groupings, through their employment and wages, to the trends in the gender wage gap within the service sector and the US economy between 1995 and 2005.

Design/methodology/approach

Standard occupational decomposition methods are applied to Current Population Survey and Displaced Workers Survey data.

Findings

The findings show that in occupations at risk of being offshored, low‐wage women's employment declined, leading to an artificial increase in the average wage of the remaining women thereby narrowing the gender wage gap. This improvement in the gender wage gap was offset by the relative growth of high‐wage male employment in at‐risk occupations and the widening of the gender wage gap within not‐at‐risk occupations.

Originality/value

These findings contribute to the growing literature on the causes of the stagnation of the US gender wage gap in the 1990s.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article

Michael P. Kelly

The article attempts to advance a definition of proletarianism which will allow the reader to grasp the precise nature of the process with particular reference to the…

Abstract

The article attempts to advance a definition of proletarianism which will allow the reader to grasp the precise nature of the process with particular reference to the economic and technical aspects. Proletarianisation is identified with a loss of the work of supervision and management, congruents of the work experience of the new middle class. This is followed by a critique of some current notions of proletarianisation as evidenced in the study of clerical labour. Finally, the article discusses proletarianisation in experiential terms.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article

Robyn Cochrane and Tui McKeown

The notion of worker vulnerability is often seen as synonymous with disadvantage in discussions of nonstandard work. The purpose of this paper is to separate and examine…

Abstract

Purpose

The notion of worker vulnerability is often seen as synonymous with disadvantage in discussions of nonstandard work. The purpose of this paper is to separate and examine these two notions by considering economic, social and psychological perspectives and exploring the reality as experienced by agency workers.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 178 Australian clerical agency workers employed by eight agencies completed a mail questionnaire. Personalised responses were subjected to computer-assisted template analysis.

Findings

Sample characteristics revealed a gendered and heterogeneous workforce. Findings showed evidence of economic, psychological and social vulnerabilities although favourable features were also reported. This apparent contradiction suggests linkages between the features of nonstandard work, worker preferences, individual characteristics and the experience of worker vulnerability.

Research limitations/implications

The notion of varying degrees of worker vulnerability offers a new lens to investigate agency work. The relatively small sample size, focus on clerical work and features of the Australian context may limit generalisability.

Practical implications

Findings demonstrate the nature and extent of agency worker vulnerability which allows us to offer policy interventions for governments, agencies and user organisations and insights for prospective agency workers.

Originality/value

The widespread use of agency workers provides an imperative for frameworks to assess the nuances of the agency work experience. This study presents the reality of agency work as experienced by the workers and reveals the good and bad aspects of agency work.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article

James L. Price

Addresses the standardization of the measurements and the labels for concepts commonly used in the study of work organizations. As a reference handbook and research tool…

Abstract

Addresses the standardization of the measurements and the labels for concepts commonly used in the study of work organizations. As a reference handbook and research tool, seeks to improve measurement in the study of work organizations and to facilitate the teaching of introductory courses in this subject. Focuses solely on work organizations, that is, social systems in which members work for money. Defines measurement and distinguishes four levels: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Selects specific measures on the basis of quality, diversity, simplicity and availability and evaluates each measure for its validity and reliability. Employs a set of 38 concepts ‐ ranging from “absenteeism” to “turnover” as the handbook’s frame of reference. Concludes by reviewing organizational measurement over the past 30 years and recommending future measurement reseach.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 18 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Abstract

Details

Population Change, Labor Markets and Sustainable Growth: Towards a New Economic Paradigm
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44453-051-6

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Article

Maureen Snow Andrade and Jonathan H. Westover

Job satisfaction has positive outcomes for individuals and organizations. These include decreased turnover and conflict, increased productivity, improved work quality and…

Abstract

Purpose

Job satisfaction has positive outcomes for individuals and organizations. These include decreased turnover and conflict, increased productivity, improved work quality and creativity and innovation. Determinants entail work–life balance, advancement and development opportunities, relationships with co-workers and managers, working conditions and intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, among others. Understanding these determinants across workers and contexts is critical for effective management and the achievement of organizational goals. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study, based on data from the International Social Survey Program, examines the impact of various aspects of work-life balance, rewards and work relations on job satisfaction across occupations.

Findings

Findings indicate more differences than similarities among countries and occupations with workers in managerial and professional positions experiencing the highest job satisfaction levels.

Originality/value

Although extensive research has documented the benefits and determinants of job satisfaction, it has not focused on global comparisons across occupational categories.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

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Article

Nathalie Galais and Klaus Moser

Temporary agency work (TAW) has increased enormously in recent decades. Most temporary agency workers are pushed involuntarily into this work arrangement and prefer…

Abstract

Purpose

Temporary agency work (TAW) has increased enormously in recent decades. Most temporary agency workers are pushed involuntarily into this work arrangement and prefer permanent work arrangements. Therefore, the motive to find a permanent job through TAW is predominant for the majority of temporary agency workers. However, little is known about what helps in obtaining a permanent job in a client organization. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of social skills by simultaneously considering the human capital aspects and motivational background of the individuals for transition success.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a questionnaire study of 151 temporary agency workers with two measurement points. The questionnaires were first administered at the very beginning of their work as a temp and again five months later.

Findings

The findings show that the social skills of temporary agency workers in contrast to various aspects of human capital and motives for temping had a significant impact on becoming a permanent worker in a client organization.

Research limitations/implications

The generalizability of the finding that social skills help temporary agency workers to find a permanent job in a client organization may be restricted due to the particularities of the work setting in the clerical sector. The incidences as well as the determinants of transition success may depend on the industry sector because of the respective assignment characteristics as well as the clients’ reasons of using temporary agency workers. Future research should investigate more thoroughly the role of assignment characteristics for the experiences of the workers.

Practical implications

Social skills seem to play a crucial role for transition success in TAW. Qualification measures should therefore include the training of interpersonal behavior. It would be desirable when the involved organizations would assume responsibility in this respect. Furthermore, policy makers should provide adequate training formats since they promote TAW as a stepping stone opportunity for unemployed people.

Originality/value

This paper suggests that career mobility in the context of flexible work arrangements may be driven by more informal processes of social integration into the existing permanent team. While TAW is seen as a temporary solution in Germany, this study focuses on the individual determinants of transition success of temporary agency workers that is still rare in studies on the topic.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article

Harriet Hartman and Moshe Hartman

The contribution of immigrants in general to the labour force of the receiving country and the ramifications (positive and negative) of this contribution have received a…

Abstract

The contribution of immigrants in general to the labour force of the receiving country and the ramifications (positive and negative) of this contribution have received a fair amount of attention, in the past, since many immigrant policies are formulated after considering the potential contribution or damage immigrants can make to the economic development of the country and selectively regulating the type of immigrants allowed to enter accordingly. Most of this attention has been given to immigrants in general, although subgroups of immigrants differ greatly in their own particular needs.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article

Ingrid Jeacle

This paper aims to consider the role of the bank clerk in the Victorian era and to provide insights into clerical life in a London bank during the period.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider the role of the bank clerk in the Victorian era and to provide insights into clerical life in a London bank during the period.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the archival records of Hoare and Company. Founded in the seventeenth century, it is the oldest surviving independent bank in the UK.

Findings

Drawing on the company's archival records, the paper examines issues such as recruitment, house rules, acts of paternalism and the overwhelming concern with maintaining respectability. While Hoare's clerks humorously referred to themselves as the Association of the Sons of Toil, the records support the literature in revealing the relatively cosseted career of the bank clerk within Victorian clerical circles. He generally enjoyed a higher salary, longer holidays and more favourable working conditions than his clerical counterparts. It was therefore a highly sought after position. Only those of impeccable character however, were recruited into its ranks.

Practical implications

The paper suggests the potential significance of Victorian values to the recruitment and general working conditions of contemporary members of the financial community.

Originality/value

The paper's value lies in supplementing the existing literature with further insights into the life of the Victorian bank clerk.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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