Review of the Literature



The purpose of this work is to analyze the technical and organizational impact of automation on job skills and the degree to which they are upgraded, downgraded and computerized, as well as the extent to which work is shifted between occupations. Automation, collective bargaining agreements and labour relations and control over the labour process are key issues which are explored in analyzing these changes. In order to assess specific changes in skill, data are presented separately for each occupation, describing, analyzing and comparing conventional skills and those used with automation in its various forms. Comparisons are also made between occupations to understand the differences in impact of automation on skills and those factors that affect control over these skills in production.


Machine Tool Labour Relation Labour Process Task Creation Collective Bargaining Agreement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 2.
    These variables were: ‘(a) the quality of the metal which is to be cut; (b) the diameter of the work; (c) the depth of the cut; (d) the thickness of the shaving; (e) the elasticity of the work and of the tool; (f) the shape or contour of the cutting edge of the tool, together with its clearance and lip angles; (g) the chemical composition of the steel from which the tool is made, and the heat treatment of the tool; (h) whether a copious stream of water or other cooling medium is used on the tool; (i) the duration of the cut, i.e., the time which a tool must last under pressure of the shaving without being reground; (j) the pressure of the chip or shaving upon the tool; (k) the changes of speed and feed possible in the lathe; (1) the pulling and feeding power of the lathe.’ Quoted from F. W. Taylor, The Art of Cutting Metals, p. 32 in Frank B. Copley, F. W. Taylor: Father of Scientific Management, Vol. 1 (New York: Augusten Kelley Publishing, 1969), p. 245.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Charles Walker and Robert Guest, Man on the Assembly Line (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1952);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3a.
    Eli Chinoy, Automobile Workers and the American Dream (New York: Doubleday, 1955).Google Scholar
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    Michael Burawoy, ‘Toward a Marxist Theory of the Labor Process’, Politics and Society, Vol. 8 (1978): 288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Tony Manwaring and Stephen Wood, ‘The Ghost in the Machine: Tacit Skills in the Labor Process’, Socialist Review 74 (March–April 1984): 56.Google Scholar
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    Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1 (New York: International Publishers, 1975).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    David F. Noble, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
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    Paul Adler, ‘Technology and Us’, Socialist Review 85 (January–February 1986): 67–96.Google Scholar
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    Larry Hirschhorn, Beyond Mechanization (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1983).Google Scholar
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    Cynthia Cockburn, Brothers: Male Dominance and Technological Change (London: Pluto Press, 1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lorraine Giordano 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Research in Vocational EducationUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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