Labor Commitment and Social Change in Developing Areas

Labor Commitment and Social Change in Developing Areas

Labor Commitment and Social Change in Developing Areas

Labor Commitment and Social Change in Developing Areas

Excerpt

There is a kind of unification going on in the world. This unification represents a trend so strong that it is sweeping out of the way many differences in attitudes and beliefs. It proceeds apace despite political difficulties and international tensions, some of which are indeed a direct product of the very force that gives political entities similar goals but without necessarily creating mutual friendship. The unification reflects a commitment to improved material well-being and conditions of life as a goal of public policy and private endeavor. It turns up in the oddest places, and in fact in most places. A worldly doctrine, it is the single most successful conversion movement in the history of ideological diffusion. Its missionaries have been poorly organized, often unwitting, and certainly dissentious. They have succeeded to an often embarrassing extent.

The areas outside the historic homelands of industrialism are poor, and in many instances growing poorer, at least relatively. But they are changing, and in most instances the change represents both intended and unanticipated consequences of "economic development." This volume is concerned with those areas, which we have called "newly developing." Its particular focus is quite specialized -- the problem of labor motivation in unfamiliar tasks or, in the technical language used in this volume, the problem of commitment of industrial labor, by which we mean both the short-run objective performance of modern kinds of economic activity and the long-run and deep-seated acceptance of the attitudes and beliefs appropriate to a modernized economy. It turns out on even superficial inspection or contemplation, however, that it is the developmental process itself that engages and excites attention, for the worker (factory hand, manager, merchant, purveyor of services) is simply the protagonist for the major drama of socioeconomic change.

This book is by many hands and gains thereby much more in depth and breadth of expert knowledge than it loses in details of language and style. It is the outgrowth of a conference, sponsored by the Committee on Economic Growth of the Social Science Research Council . . .

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