All quiet on the workplace front?

A critique of recent trends in British industrial sociology

Submitted by antrophe on October 3, 2006

Industrial sociology at its best has been able to uncover the variety of workplace resistance and misbehaviour that lies beneath the surface of the formal and consensual. In this paper the authors argue that this legacy is in danger of being lost as labour is taken out of the process and replaced by management as the active and successful agency. While there are a number of practical and theoretical forces shaping this trend, the paper identifies the growing influence of Foucauldian perspectives. It goes on to develop a critique of the way in which such theory and research overstates the extent and effectiveness of new management practices, while marginalising the potential for working class resistance.