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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Steven Toms

This paper aims to argue that the principal components of the Resource‐Based View (RBV) as a theory of sustained competitive advantage are not a sufficient basis for a…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue that the principal components of the Resource‐Based View (RBV) as a theory of sustained competitive advantage are not a sufficient basis for a complete and consistent theory of firm behaviour. Two missing elements are value theory and accountability mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper proposes a link between value theory and accountability using a Resource Value‐Resource Risk perspective as an alternative to the Capital Asset Pricing Model. The link operates first from the labour process, where value is created but is imperfectly observable by intra‐firm mechanisms of organizational control and outside governance arrangements without incurring monitoring costs. Second, it operates through contractual arrangements which impose fixed cost structures on activities with variable revenues.

Findings

The paper thereby explains how value originates in risky and difficult to monitor productive processes and is transmitted as rents to organizational and capital market constituents. It then reviews recent contributions to the RBV, arguing that the proposed new approach overcomes gaps inherent in the alternatives, and thus offers a more complete and integrated view of firm behaviour.

Originality/value

The RBV can become a coherent theory of firm behaviour, if it adopts and can integrate the labour theory of value, associated measures of risk arising from the labour process and mechanisms of accountability.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2011

Heesang Jeon

This chapter attempts to theorize the role of knowledge in the determination of the value of commodities. This draws from the South Korean controversy on the value and…

Abstract

This chapter attempts to theorize the role of knowledge in the determination of the value of commodities. This draws from the South Korean controversy on the value and price of information commodities such as computer software and digital music. One group of writers has argued that the value of software copies (=commodities) is contributed by the labor time expended to produce the source code (=knowledge) in a piecemeal fashion. For another group, the source code has nothing to do with the production of the value of copies given that the source code is unnecessary for the (re)production of copies, and thus the value of software copies is approximately zero and its price is a high monopoly price. Both approaches are flawed. In the case of the former, no value can actually be transferred from the source code to copies because no changes are made to the source code before or after the production of copies. In case of the latter, knowledge is viewed as having nothing to do with value production. On the basis of this critique, an alternative view is put forward, in which knowledge plays an important role in value production by determining the productivity and/or complexity of labor. Knowledge “virtually intensifies” labor. It is also argued that intellectual property rights should be theorized in a way to refine and reproduce the role of knowledge – the virtual intensification of labor – at more complex and concrete levels of analysis.

Details

Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-255-5

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2019

Raghunandan Reddy, Arun Kumar Sharma and Munmun Jha

The purpose of this paper is to examine perspective of “gendered labour process” to explore the aspectsof managerialism, which utilize gender as a control measure to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine perspective of “gendered labour process” to explore the aspectsof managerialism, which utilize gender as a control measure to achieve its ends. The paper seeks to integrate gender and labour process theory and contribute to studies on gendering of organizations that focus on organization logic as well as integrated studies of labour process theory and gender.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes thematic analysis as the method for analysing the interviews of senior managers in an information technology service organization in India, to identify managerial ideologies and practices.

Findings

A gendered labour process perspective could reveal the institutional orders that systemically discriminate or exclude women in organizations, rather than gender ideologies alone.

Practical implications

Rather than focussing on gender sensitization alone, as is the case with the gender diversity initiatives, it may be fruitful to revisit work design and work organization, to identify and implement changes, so that women’s marginalization and exclusion from certain workplaces could be minimized.

Social implications

A view of gendered labour process could aid public policies aimed at enabling women to continue their employment without disruptions.

Originality/value

The paper attempted to integrate gender and labour process theory by delineating the organization logic that deploys gender as a means of managerial control.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 October 2020

Da Yang, John Dumay and Dale Tweedie

In 2015, one university student in KC – a small town in regional Australia – unknowingly launched a resistance movement and national debate on modern wage theft. We apply…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2015, one university student in KC – a small town in regional Australia – unknowingly launched a resistance movement and national debate on modern wage theft. We apply labour process theory to analyse accounting's role in this case.

Design/methodology/approach

We study multiple instances of wage theft in one Australian town. This case site reveals how wage theft can emerge in a developed economy with well-established legal and institutional constraints. We use Thompson's “core” labour process theory to analyse accounting's role via two interrelated dialectics: (1) structure and agency and, (2) control and resistance.

Findings

Accounting was “weaponised” by both sides of the controversy: as a tool of employer control and as a vehicle for student resistance. Digital technologies enabled employee resistance to form unconsciously and organically. Proponents mobilised informally, with information and accounting the ammunition.

Social implications

Wage theft affects industrialised as well as developing economies, especially “precarious” workers. We show how accounting can conceal exploitation, but also how – with the right support – accounting can help vulnerable workers enforce their rights and entitlements.

Originality/value

The paper uncovers novel dynamics of exploitation and resistance at work under contemporary economic and technological conditions. Labour process theory can provide a more dialectical perspective on accounting's role in these dynamics, including the emancipatory potential of informal and opportunistic counter-accounts.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Pawan Budhwar, Andy Crane, Annette Davies, Rick Delbridge, Tim Edwards, Mahmoud Ezzamel, Lloyd Harris, Emmanuel Ogbonna and Robyn Thomas

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their…

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Abstract

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their workforce – not even, in many cases, describing workers as assets! Describes many studies to back up this claim in theis work based on the 2002 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference, in Cardiff, Wales.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 25 no. 8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Linda Katurah Colley

This paper aims to extend the literature by applying labour process concepts to public service executive employment.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to extend the literature by applying labour process concepts to public service executive employment.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws on the secondary literature to link labour process theory to public administration reform. First, it draws on the labour process literature to provide a summary of some key labour process concepts that will be used throughout the article. This includes Littler's framework for analysing work organisation, being structure of control, employment relationship and job design. Second, it draws on the public administration literature to outline the traditional mode of public sector employment relations, using labour process concepts to illustrate the traditional organisation of work. Third, it draws on the public management reform literature, to outline the key reforms that affected work organisation. In the final section, the article draws these literatures together and uses labour process concepts to analyse the positional power of department heads in the reformed environment. For simplicity and consistency, the examples focus largely on the Australian public sector – each Westminster system has adopted slightly different reforms at slightly different times, but there are enough similarities to allow generaliseability across systems.

Findings

The article argues that executives had a strategic position in the public service labour process, and public sector reforms were designed to reduce their positional power and knowledge. Politicians wrested control away from chief executives through strategies such as the division of labour, separation of conception and execution, deskilling, and changes to employment relations that destabilised traditional career paths and tenure. This is in contrast to the new public management rhetoric that the reforms would let managers manage – in reality they were provided more control over operational aspects of work, but lesser control over the intellectual and conceptual aspects of work which were now done elsewhere.

Originality/value

This paper is original in its extension of labour process concepts to a different and elite work group, being public sector chief executives.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2010

Renu Desai

The present paper attempts to integrate three streams of alternative approaches to provide a contingency‐based framework to understand the management control systems (MCS…

4210

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper attempts to integrate three streams of alternative approaches to provide a contingency‐based framework to understand the management control systems (MCS) that are operating in call centers. Specifically, the paper's aim is to analyse the work practices of call center employees from three different lenses: the radical approach using Braverman's labor process theory; the Foucauldian approach, which explains the governance of the self; and the naturalistic approach, which explains the governance of the built environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the case study were collected by conducting interviews. The data were gathered to identify if the work experience of the call center operators reflects the Tayloristic principles of scientific management, whether their responses reflect evidence of internalizing norms and adjusting their selves to fit to the norm, and lastly whether their work conditions are shaped in the manner described above to facilitate control of their work lives.

Findings

Prior academic studies have relied on either one of the approaches and the author's contention is that neither of the theories in isolation can explain the complexities that characterize the contemporary call center operator's labor process.

Research limitations/implications

The study of control and its resistance can add to the understanding of the modern workplace. Since the call center environment is unique, the results of this study may have limited generalizability.

Practical implications

Future researchers can extend the approach used in this research to areas other than call centers that may have similar overlapping paradigms. Such an endeavor will enrich the understanding of complex phenomena, where multiple theories may be espoused to explain a particular research question.

Originality/value

A significant contribution of this study is to recognize that there is concentration of limited control and power in the hands of those who are controlled. Such an understanding may revive the “emancipatory tradition” of labour process theory and though it may not lead to the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, it may lead to the awareness that strategies aimed at improving the lives of workers within the capitalist political economy are desirable.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 59 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2012

Steven P. Vallas and Andrea Hill

The question of power, long indispensable to organizational analysis, remains the elusive but essential key to understanding the employment relation within the…

Abstract

The question of power, long indispensable to organizational analysis, remains the elusive but essential key to understanding the employment relation within the contemporary capitalist context. Taking up this question, this chapter critically examines two of the more prevalent approaches toward work organizations – neo-institutionalist theory and labor process analysis – and engages a third, less widely utilized approach: Foucault's theory of governmentality. By weighing the strengths and weaknesses of familiar analytical traditions and providing insight into an emergent theoretical approach, we offer some observations and suggestions that might enrich the study of work, power, and organizations in the coming years.

Details

Rethinking Power in Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-665-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 January 2007

Kim Mather, Les Worrall and Roger Seifert

The purpose of this article is to examine how the labour process of further education lecturers has changed as a result of legislative reforms introduced in the early 1990s.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine how the labour process of further education lecturers has changed as a result of legislative reforms introduced in the early 1990s.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on labour process theory and emergent perspectives on “the new public management” to provide theoretical frameworks. Evidence is derived from research carried out at three FE colleges in the English West Midlands involving interviews with managers and lecturing staff, documentary material and a survey of lecturing staff employed in the colleges.

Findings

Market‐based reforms in this sector have resulted in the intensification and extensification of work effort for lecturers. This paper argues that these changes have been driven by the ideological underpinning of the reform process. Individual and collective acts of lecturer resistance have been insufficiently strong to prevent change from occurring and worker alienation has increased.

Research limitations/implications

The case study method renders generalisability of findings difficult. Comparative studies in other localities and sectors are needed.

Practical implications

The research indicates that the “new managerialism” – which has developed in the public sector – has created an increasingly alienated workforce and that the processes of change in many institutions have had negative outcomes.

Originality/value

The research demonstrates and application of labour process theory, supported by empirical evidence, as a means for examining the changing experiences of a group of public sector workers and assessing the effect of the “new managerialism” on workers' experiences.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Kristine M. Kuhn, Jeroen Meijerink and Anne Keegan

This work examines the intersection between traditional human resource management and the novel employment arrangements of the expanding gig economy. While there is a…

Abstract

This work examines the intersection between traditional human resource management and the novel employment arrangements of the expanding gig economy. While there is a substantial multidisciplinary literature on the digital platform labor phenomenon, it has been largely centered on the experiences of gig workers. As digital labor platforms continue to grow and specialize, more managers, executives, and human resource practitioners will need to make decisions about whether and how to utilize gig workers. Here the authors explore and interrogate the unique features of human resource management (HRM) activities in the context of digital labor platforms. The authors discuss challenges and opportunities regarding (1) HRM in organizations that outsource labor needs to external labor platforms, (2) HRM functions within digital labor platform firms, and (3) HRM policies and practices for organizations that develop their own spin-off digital labor platform. To foster a more nuanced understanding of work in the gig economy, the authors identify common themes across these contexts, highlight knowledge gaps, offer recommendations for future research, and outline pathways for collecting empirical data on HRM in the gig economy.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-430-5

Keywords

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