Designing jobs with advanced manufacturing technology: the negotiation of expertise

  • J. Martin Corbett
Part of the Management, Work and Organisations book series (MWO)


Prompted in part by the advent of IT networks and software packages, we no longer think of technology in terms of machines and hardware but as the outcome of a social process. Some writers have viewed this process in terms of the ‘contested terrain’ (Edwards, 1 979), defined by the conflicting interests of managers and workers at the workplace. Managers are seen as pursuing objectives centred on efficiency and control, while workers seek to retain a degree of control over the work process. This political model of technological change is attentive to motives and interests and defines functional issues as a facade for such interests. Its analytic drive is upwards and outwards, pointing to the — largely unspecified — effects of the wider social context as the ultimate determinant of workplace events.


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© Jacky Swann 1996

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  • J. Martin Corbett

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