Changing Context of Work
1: Herod, A. and Aguiar, L. 2006. Cleaners and the Dirty Work of Neo-liberalism. Antipode, OX4 (2DQ), pp. 425 - 433.
In the political-economic realm, the past two decades or so have been dominated by two words: neo-liberalism and globalization. According to this article, janitors and cleaners are among the occupations that endure the most probabilities of enduring injuries. The article has further analyzed research done in the US and Australia which indicates that this category of workers are ranked as the fifth going by the possibilities of enduring injuries. Despite to this, they are also victims of low pay as it has further been depicted on Maid in Manhattan. This has been recorded in Australia and the US. Herod is of the opinion that neo-liberalization has caused the government to establish regulations on workplace that have eventually undermined their protection. The article adds that, that this cleaning work is easy and there are no skills required, however, these are wrong perceptions. This has been explained by the existence of many cleaning organizations that operate with ISO standards that further offer training and provision of essential working conditions to protect workers from possible negative health outcomes and financial exploitation.
2: Banerjee, D. 2006. Information Technology, Productivity Growth, and Reduced Leisure: Revisiting “End Of History”. The Journal of Labor and Society, 9 (1089-7011), pp. 199-213.
Many knowledge workers are now on the job much longer than the official data would suggest. The transition from industrial capitalism to “digital” capitalism, from the era of the dominating rule of the Factory Act to that of the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, is also a passage from accounting for the work of the worker in terms of day(s) to hour(s)—the fearful broadening of the accountability of the knowledge workers. Considering the balance of leisure and work, the life of a worker has evolved gradually with capitalist development which supported leisure while promoting growth at the same time. As a result, some people believe that the developments in information and communications technology have remained the same over time while some still hold that there has been a radical transformation with response to capitalism. There is a radical change in computers considering the logic of mechanics where the prices of computers have dropped. Currently, leisure has received some backing where there has been working hours without a break being reduced strategically. This has been made possible by people acquiring more knowledge on productivity and human rights.
3: Noon, M. and Blyton, P. 2005. Experiencing work and employment in contemporary society. The Realities of Work.
Political context has changed in two dynamics which is international in that, the trade liberalization measures have been expanded while supranational alliances in Asia, North America and Europe have been created. As a result restrictions on international movement of capital have been removed. Free market has received amazing backing. With this fact and the support of supranational alliances, a wide range of employment rights in addition of better working conditions have come up. National, regional and local political environments in most regions have provided for legal presentation and protection of employees. The increase in economic globalization through expansion of multinational firms and the emphasis on efficient organization in production and improved quality of output have positively changed the nature of employment and work. Temporary work and job insecurity have been on the increase while it has been difficult to compare unemployment over time. Female employment has risen as human rights groups have come up strongly calling for gender balance. Due to increased education levels and broader opportunities there has been an increase in self employment and also workers taking advantage of part time employment opportunities. Developments in boundary openness and Information Technology have decisive in contributing to these advancements.
4: Burchielli, R., Bartram, T. and Thanacoody, R. 2008. Work-Family Balance or Greedy Organizations? Industrial Relations, 63 (1), pp. 108-133.
Organizations have an awareness of the challenge implied in combining the roles of work and family. Both organizations and their employees, acknowledged the tensions between the role demands of the work and family domains. The key findings of this paper suggest that senior staff and managers had no work and family balance and there was evidence of work and family conflict which was not alleviated by their resources. Flexible working arrangements did not result in balance and created other challenges. Employees managed both domains at great personal cost. There was evidence that workplaces may make excessive demands on employees. Through research on how the ability to ensure control and balance between family and work, it is evident that the higher the rank in an organization, the better the balance. Organizations are ever fully aware that their employees need to ensure balance on the two but underestimate the facts at times. Organizations and employees are equally informed and understand the tension that exists in attempts to uphold this balance. Managers and senior staff interviewed in this research including the hospital managers reported absence of work-family conflict.
5: Broek, D. 2002. Monitoring and Surveillance in Call Centres: Some Responses from Australian Workers. Labour & Industry, 12 (3), pp. 43-58.
Work organization within call centers has undergone considerable change over the past decade, both overseas and in Australia. The pace and repetition of work has intensified. Though patterns of control and employee response in call centers vary, the research indicated that introduction of ACD systems and VDU telephone in Australia increased managerial ability to monitor employee performance and intensified CSR workloads. It also indicates that while many employees complied with managerial directives, other employee responses continued to indicate considerable discontent about work conditions. Sophisticated technology has increased call centre management’s ability to monitor CSR output, but managerial control is not total. Despite the fact that there have been employees who were respectful and followed to the letter directives from the management, other employees would still complain about the working conditions that they were exposed to. Though technology has come in handy in helping to monitor how employees perform, it has not been an easy ride as some employees have been reluctant to follow the ground rules claiming that the supervision has been excessive while some still believe that there have overloaded with work.
There is the general agreement that the supply curve of labor by single individuals exhibits the backward bending pattern, although economists disagree as to the shape of the aggregate supply of labor. The idea is that as the standard of living increases people find that unless they have the time to enjoy leisure activities, it is not worth their while to work harder in order to obtain the higher income required for more leisure. Knowledge-based companies are typically engaged in the areas such as software development, consultancy, pharmaceuticals, financial services, engineering services, biotechnology, etc. ISO states that its ‘‘purpose is to facilitate international trade by providing a single set of standards that people everywhere would recognize and respect’’. Cleaners perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, and hospitals, clean and orderly while janitors perform a variety of heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish [and] may fix leaky faucets, empty trash cans, do painting and carpentry, replenish bathroom supplies, mow lawns, and see that heating and air conditioning equipment works properly.
Banerjee, D. 2006. Information Technology, Productivity Growth, And Reduced Leisure: Revisiting “End Of History”. The Journal of Labor and Society, 9 (1089-7011), pp. 199-213.
Broek, D. 2002. Monitoring and Surveillance In Call Centres: Some Responses From Australian Workers. Labour & Industry, 12 (3), pp. 43-58.
Burchielli, R., Bartram, T. and Thanacoody, R. 2008. Work-Family Balance or Greedy Organizations?. Industrial Relations, 63 (1), pp. 108-133.
Herod, A. and Aguiar, L. 2006. Cleaners and the Dirty Work of Neoliberalism. Antipode, OX4 (2DQ), pp. 425 - 433.
Noon, M. and Blyton, P. 2005. Experiencing work and employment in contemporary society. The Realities of Work.