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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

David Macarov

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible…

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Abstract

The author argues that we must stop and take a look at what our insistence on human labour as the basis of our society is doing to us, and begin to search for possible alternatives. We need the vision and the courage to aim for the highest level of technology attainable for the widest possible use in both industry and services. We need financial arrangements that will encourage people to invent themselves out of work. Our goal, the article argues, must be the reduction of human labour to the greatest extent possible, to free people for more enjoyable, creative, human activities.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 8 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1987

Y. Meller and D. Macarov

The gradual shift from industrial to service economies which has been characteristic of all the western democracies for at least the last century has not been reflected in…

Abstract

The gradual shift from industrial to service economies which has been characteristic of all the western democracies for at least the last century has not been reflected in research on the services in a manner commensurate with the pace and importance of that shift. Although there are semantic and practical difficulties in defining exactly what is meant by services, one can discern a rough continuum running through most definitions and categorisations, with creating, altering, or combining material objects on one end of the continuum, and dealing with an individual's problems and needs through the use of a helping relationship on the other. Using this model, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of research studies into work attitudes, patterns, influences, productivity and so forth, have been towards the materials‐altering, or industrial, end of the continuum.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1981

D. Macarov

People spend, and have always spent, such a large part of their time at work that it is no wonder they constantly seek ways to make that portion of their lives more…

Abstract

People spend, and have always spent, such a large part of their time at work that it is no wonder they constantly seek ways to make that portion of their lives more comfortable. Improvements in work methods and work conditions in pre‐industrial society were almost always motivated more by concern for personal situations than by desire for greater production. Indeed, in the pre‐industrial world surplus products had little value. Without roads, storage facilities, and a market economy, enough to feed one's family and a small amount for barter sufficed. The fact that there were more than a hundred holidays a year, first provided by the Church and later by the secular authorities, to take up the slack in the farmers' time is evidence of the lack of need for greater production. The move from people power to horsepower (in the original sense), for example, was probably motivated more by the desire to reduce the crushing burden of hard physical labour on the farmer and his family than to increase production. When the Israelites in ancient Egypt complained about the lack of straw for brickmaking, they were not concerned about production as such, but rather the punishment imposed for not meeting production quotas. Mendelssohn holds that the building of the later pyramids had no goal other than that of providing employment, and that contrary to the popular belief that slaves built the pyramids under duress, the Egyptians did the work willingly as a tribute to the Pharoahs and the gods. Later, the sporadic revolts of Greek and Roman galley slaves were as much protests about the work they were compelled to do, and the conditions, than against their servitude, which was more or less accepted in those days. The reforms of Diocletian, in the third century, which required sons to continue in their fathers' occupations, were made necessary by the growing practice among young people of seeking easier work. The desire to avoid work, or not to work hard, is further evidenced by the numerous exhortations on the part of rulers, moralists, prophets and priests that people should work hard; the fables, such as that of the grasshopper and the ant; proverbs, like “Look to the ant, thou sluggard”; and even modern epigrams, like “Nobody ever died of hard work”. All of these indicate a societal need to spur people on — a need which would not exist if people enjoyed their work.

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1975

D. Macarov

In most Western, industrialised countries the relationship between work and welfare is close, but asymmetric. The effect of employment policy on welfare recipients or…

Abstract

In most Western, industrialised countries the relationship between work and welfare is close, but asymmetric. The effect of employment policy on welfare recipients or welfare systems is usually a minor consideration when determining the former; whereas the effect which welfare policies are expected to have on work patterns is often the controlling consideration when welfare rates and conditions are decided. In fact, one of the most influential factors in the establishment of social welfare policies is the presumed effect of such policies on incentives to work. Almost all social welfare programmes throughout the world have written into them a “wage stop” which guarantees that recipients of grants—sometimes even of social insurance payments—will not receive as much income from such programmes as they could receive from working. So pervasive and deep is this fear of a work disincentive that even those who cannot work, such as the aged, the handicapped, and children; and those whom public policy says should not be required to work, like the mothers of infants, are usually limited as to the amount which they can receive from welfare payments, regardless of need, to somewhat less than the amount which they would receive if they were able to work. In Israel, for example, social welfare grants are fixed at 40% of the average wage; in France, old age pensions will rise by 1975 from even lower rates to 25% of the annual wage at age 60, and 50% at age 65 [International Labour Review, 1972], whereas unemployment insurance benefit, which was 35–40% until 1974, rose to only 70% of the average annual wage [Oechslin, 1972]. In the United States, “… In 1968, the average weekly unemployment insurance benefit was about one‐third of the weekly wage in employment that was covered under the programme” [Handler, 1972]. By thus making it impossible for many persons to acquire through welfare what they theoretically could (but actually could not) acquire from work, the fear of work disincentives, operating through the wage stop, is one of the factors guaranteeing the existence and continuation of poverty.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

D. Macarov

The fact that full employment is not merely unfeasible but impossible is attested by all history. With the exception of relatively short periods, usually accompanied by…

Abstract

The fact that full employment is not merely unfeasible but impossible is attested by all history. With the exception of relatively short periods, usually accompanied by war, no country has ever succeeded in achieving and maintaining full employment, despite various and often desperate efforts (Garraty).

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 11 no. 1/2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1981

D. Macarov

Writing in 1883, Karl Marx's son‐in‐law, Paul Lafargue, proclaimed for the working class “the right to be lazy”. Although he was not against labour as a concept, but only…

Abstract

Writing in 1883, Karl Marx's son‐in‐law, Paul Lafargue, proclaimed for the working class “the right to be lazy”. Although he was not against labour as a concept, but only opposed the monotonous, unpleasant, exploitative work to which labourers were being subjected, this fine distinction was washed out by the triumph of the Revolution, as was any recognition of a right to live without working. The constitution of the Soviet Union, that bastion of anti‐religiosity, quotes the words of the New Testament exactly: “He who does not work shall not eat”. Emphasis on work as a national duty, a civic virtue, and an ennobling experience for the individual is an article of faith in communist states. In this respect, at least, there is very little difference between communist and capitalist societies. Throughout the modern industrialised West there is an almost‐overwhelming emphasis on the importance and desirability of work. Thus, both the religous and the non‐religious, communists and capitalists, agree on work as a societal value of the highest order.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1990

Patrick Kenis

In this paper a sector will be dealt with, which is lately characterized by an increase in decision‐making in a scientific rationalized way, i.e. the sector of personal…

Abstract

In this paper a sector will be dealt with, which is lately characterized by an increase in decision‐making in a scientific rationalized way, i.e. the sector of personal social services. Decision‐making is in many cases closely related and attributable to the fact that the social services are increasingly availing themselves of personal computers. An innovation which is most often discussed in terms of technological rationalization and facilitation for the provision of personal social services. This may be the case as long as the computer is used as just another, be it a different, mode, to provide services, e.g. to do away with routine, administrative, and management tasks, such as record keeping (Bloom 1975), information retrieval systems (Rubin 1976), fiscal management (Mutschler 1983), etc.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 10 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1990

D. Macarov

The use of computers in the human services has been laggard as compared to their use in other areas, such as industry, commerce and the military. Nevertheless, such use is…

Abstract

The use of computers in the human services has been laggard as compared to their use in other areas, such as industry, commerce and the military. Nevertheless, such use is growing rapidly, and rather than expose services such as social work, nursing, teaching, and psychiatry to the dangers of indiscriminate, inappropriate, and possibly counterindicated use of such methods, it has become increasingly necessary that the possibilities and problems inherent in computer technology as applied to each of the human services be carefully examined.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 10 no. 4/5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1985

Yossef Meller and David Macarov

Responses to open‐ended questions concerning sources of work satisfaction among social workers indicate that instruments and methodology which have been devised in…

Abstract

Responses to open‐ended questions concerning sources of work satisfaction among social workers indicate that instruments and methodology which have been devised in industrial settings may create distortions when applied to human services. The most important sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction differ from those elicited in industry, a fact which points out the need to begin detailed research in the service sector using workers' own conceptions of their situation rather than preconceptions drawn from other areas of work.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1982

David Macarov

The search for increased productivity through increased or improved human labour has deep historical roots. In relatively recent times this search has included the…

Abstract

The search for increased productivity through increased or improved human labour has deep historical roots. In relatively recent times this search has included the scientific management school, the human relations school, and the structuralist school. In the thousands of studies which constitute the field of work satisfaction and/or work incentive research, however, that factor which Neff terms the “work personality” remains underemphasised. Despite some scattered references to mediating variables arising from individual or idiosyncratic differences; and despite a few studies which attempt to correlate work patterns with personality attributes, such as anxiety, authoritarianism, and others, there are very few studies which take into account the effects of relatively stable work personalities, and even fewer which address the question as to how these differences in work responses arise and develop. Yet the effect of basic, rooted, enduring attitudes toward work may influence differential reactions to various intended and purported work incentives, and may outweigh them in total consequences. An understanding of work personalities and the factors which form them can therefore be of importance in attempts to understand work patterns and to influence them.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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