Job Insecurity and Work Intensification

Job Insecurity and Work Intensification

Job Insecurity and Work Intensification

Job Insecurity and Work Intensification

Synopsis

Based in findings of the recently published Joseph Rowntree report, this book provides an up-to-the-minute review of current research on flexibility, job insecurity and work intensification.

Excerpt

The research upon which this book is based was initiated at a time of unprecedented interest in job insecurity. By 1997, it was widely assumed that job insecurity had increased rapidly over the past decade. There was also an emerging understanding that job insecurity was not only unpleasant for individuals (in terms of their psychological well-being), but that it raised serious problems for family stability and for organisational efficiency by lowering the commitment and motivation of employees. But while the popular press began to pay more attention to the negative consequences of job insecurity, the need for a flexible workforce that could compete in global markets was becoming the top priority for managers and policy makers alike.

In light of this contradiction between the fear of insecurity and the demand for flexibility, we embarked on a year-long survey of the British workforce. Brendan Burchell and Frank Wilkinson raised the funds for the project and steered it through the initial planning stages. Maria Hudson, David Ladipo and Hannah Reed were appointed as research fellows on the project. Roy Mankelow, a Research Associate of the Centre for Business Research, joined the project for its duration. And Jane Nolan and Ines Wichert took up PhD places, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, to work alongside the project as full members of the research team. The addition of so many members of the team, many of them unplanned, gave the project a far wider remit than initially planned. Between us we brought expertise from Economics, Economic History, Labour Law, Social and Organisational Psychology and Sociology.

As this book demonstrates, our research interests were not limited to one specific labour market phenomenon. On the contrary, we sought to examine the complex set of relationships through which macroeconomic pressures, such as the globalisation of product and capital markets, are passed via the workplace onto individuals and their families. To do this, we needed a methodology that would reflect the 'big picture' and still enable us to conduct detailed analyses of the microeconomic effects of job insecurity and work intensification. This simultaneous requirement for

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