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Expanding Gouldner’s Theory of Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Abstract

Although there is adequate literature on the topic of state-employer collusion, this literature is barely underpinned in any theoretical framework. This article attempts to fill this theoretical lacuna by revisiting Gouldner’s (Patterns of industrial bureaucracy: a case study of modern factory administration, The Free Press, New York, 1954a) pioneering theoretical framework on patterns of bureaucracy, and extends his concept of mock bureaucracy to develop a new concept called ‘mock state bureaucracy’ to illustrate state-employer collusion in controlling workers in plants in developing third world economies. The article revisits and extends Gouldner’s (1954a) unit of analysis from the ‘firm’ level to the ‘state’ level and argues that the new concept mock state bureaucracy provides a better illustration of the state-employer collusion. The article argues that both ‘state’ and ‘employer’ are important units of analysis and they should be brought back to the centre stage of any discourse on employment relations of developing countries.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    FTFCC is the national employers’ association for the textile, footwear and garment industries in Fiji.

  2. 2.

    The ‘Freedom of Association’ (1948) No 87 is one of eight core conventions of ILO.

  3. 3.

    The ten Wages Councils Regulations are the Garment Industry; Mining and Quarrying Industry, Sawmilling and Logging Industry; Road Transport Industry; Building, Civil, Electrical, and Engineering Trade; Printing Industry; Wholesale and Retail Trade; Hotel and Catering Trade; Manufacturing Industry; and the Security Trade (MoL website, accessed, 4 January 2016).

  4. 4.

    The minimum wages of garment workers in Fiji are set annually by a tripartite forum named the Fiji Garment Wages Council.

  5. 5.

    Interview with a Chinese garment employer, December 2014.

  6. 6.

    Interview with a Bangladeshi garment employer, July 2014.

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Correspondence to Anand Chand.

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Chand, A. Expanding Gouldner’s Theory of Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy: Looking Back and Moving Forward. Soc Indic Res 137, 317–334 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-017-1583-7

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Keywords

  • Developing countries
  • Gouldner’s Patterns of Bureaucracy
  • Mock State Bureaucracy
  • State-Employer Collusion