Identity Work

  • Paul Thompson
  • David McHugh

Abstract

If our society is characterised by the involvement of individuals in organisational structures, then organisations are characterised by their attempts to control the performance and behaviour of the individuals they consist of. It is this rule-bound control of individual behaviour which distinguishes organisational behaviour from other forms of social organisation. Home and family life, for example, are undoubtedly organised, and controls and sanctions are placed on the behaviour of family members. But this control is in no sense as systematic as that existing in even a small commercial organisation. On this basis, for work organisations of any type to maintain their present forms of authority, hierarchy and control it becomes necessary to produce some kind of change in the types of regulation employees will consent to. There is, of course, a great amount of prior socialisation for work contained in our experience of schooling, and this is presently being extended in the kinds of job training discussed in Chapter 3 to better ‘fit’ youth for work. This, however, merely serves to illustrate that organisations depend on being able to mould people into the kind of workers they need.

Keywords

Depression Assimilation Expense Posit Production Line 

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Copyright information

© Paul Thompson and David McHugh 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Thompson
  • David McHugh

There are no affiliations available

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