Power in the Workplace: The Politics of Production at AT&T

Power in the Workplace: The Politics of Production at AT&T

by Steven Peter Vallas
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791412733

ISBN-13: 9780791412732

Pub. Date: 02/01/1993

Publisher: State University of New York Press

This book presents a systematic case study of the hi-tech communications industry that reveals many trends in managerial authority in the workpace. Vallas reveals the mechanisms that enable advanced capitalist firms to achieve and maintain control over the workers they employ. He demonstrates that the spread and integration of automated technologies place lower

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Overview

This book presents a systematic case study of the hi-tech communications industry that reveals many trends in managerial authority in the workpace. Vallas reveals the mechanisms that enable advanced capitalist firms to achieve and maintain control over the workers they employ. He demonstrates that the spread and integration of automated technologies place lower level human labor in positions of declining power. The new regime does not deskill workers and need not lead toward what some have called electronic sweatshops. Nevertheless, Vallas concludes that increasing managerial control over production poses a major challenge to those who advocate labor participation in the management of American industries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791412732
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
02/01/1993
Series:
SUNY series in the Sociology of Work and Organizations Series
Pages:
264

Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Preface

1. Introduction

2. Work, Power, and the Monopoly Corporation

The Emiseration of Labor?
Managerial Hegemony
The Emancipation of Labor?
Discussion

3. The Old Regime at AT&T: Taylorism, Paternalism, and Labor Struggle, 1890-1947.

Weavers of Speech: The Changing Character of Telephone Work

The Feminization of the Switchboard
The Rationalization of the Labor Process, 1890-1915

The Structure of Labor Control at AT&T

A Little Robot of Steel: The Mechanization of Labor

Institutionalizing Paternalism
Two Firms, One Regime
Conclusion

4. Capital, Labor, and New Technology

Technology, Skill, and Power at Work
The Structure of the Bell System after World War II

Tradition Amidst Bureaucracy
The 'Real Subordination of Labor' Revisited
The Nature of Plant Work in Manual C.O.s
Rationalization and Resistance

Information Technology and Work Processes

The Automation of Craft Work
The Automation of Clerical Work
Estimating the Links among Technology, Work, and Alienation

Conclusion

5. The Limits of Managerial Hegemony

The Dominant Ideology at Work
The Ideology of Participation
Economic Competition and the Workers Response
Sources of Variation in Working-Class Consciousness
Conclusion

6. Conclusion

Labor Control in the Monopoly Core
Beyond the New Regime

Appendix: Research Methods and Sample Design

Notes

References

Index

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