What Makes a Job Good or Bad? Standards of Good Work Revisited

3 – 7 April 2018   print this page

Course directors:

Dorothea Alewell, University of Hamburg, Germany
Wenzel Matiaske, Helmut-Schmidt University, Germany
Simon Fietze, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Course description:

Standards of good work – in economics, law, sociology and industrial psychology – are rooted in ideas of protecting labour against exploitation and alienation. Certainly, these basic ideas have not lost its importance. But organisations as socio-technological systems have radically changed during the the last decades, which entails the need for revision of the implications formulated in the 1960s. The front against Taylorism and the bureaucratic phenomenon will prove fruitless in times of the flexible organization and subsequently flexible women and men. E.g.:

• Technical progress may result not only in a reduction of workload but also in a devaluation of human capital which is bounded to persons, relatives and communities.

• Labour law may foster the unindent effect of building up a non-core work- force by HRM which is excluded from regulations which protect regular employees.

• Additional margin for manoeuvre intended as a resource enabling coping in models of work related stress has converted to a stressor itself in flexible organizations.

• Changes of value orientations, which are out of the perspective social research since decades, may result in altered individual demands and hence on answers to the question what makes a good job.

This is not an exhaustive list.

The seminar welcomes empirical studies as well as theoretical papers and pro- vides sufficient time for discussion and reflection.