Orientations to Work

  • R. M. Blackburn
  • Michael Mann
Part of the Cambridge Studies in Sociology book series (CAMBSIS)


In the previous chapter we noted that some workers evaluated employment opportunities in terms of persistent preference for one type of reward. We now ask whether such preferences are part of a wider mental set, conventionally termed an orientation. In Chapter 1 we defined an orientation as a central organizing principle which underlies people’s attempts to make sense of their lives. With respect to the labour market, therefore, we ask whether the desires for particular types of work reward tend to determine the attitudes and behaviour of the workers. The central problem is that of extent and stability. The existence of orientations implies that workers have preferences which are substantially independent of immediate work experience, extending over different types of situation and relatively stable for a significant period of time. Whether or not orientations exist, in this sense, is crucial to experience and choice in the labour market.


Labour Market Preference Data Fringe Benefit Importance Measure Importance Score 
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Copyright information

© R. M. Blackburn and Michael Mann 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Blackburn
  • Michael Mann

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