ERIC Number: ED171907
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Quality of Work Life: The Issues in the Debate.
Diverse opinions are held by workers, union officials, and labor researchers about the importance of the quality of working life to workers. Major issues in this debate focus on the following questions: (1) Is there a workers' movement to improve the quality of working life? (2) Do workers seek meaning and self-fulfillment in their jobs? (3) Can work be redesigned and humanized without affecting profits and efficiency? (4) To what extent are employees alienated or dissatisfied (5) How reliable are the findings of studies on these issues? and (6) Why are experiments in job enrichment and restructuring considered successful in Europe, but not in the United States? The quality of working life is influenced by such factors as the application of technology to the work, economic structure of an industry, division of labor, private ownership and management, and society's emphasis on material success. Proposals for improving working conditions range from the utopian solutions of left-wing critics and sociologists which require vast changes in technology and social structure to the practical methods of union leaders which focus on the work environment, safety and health standards, and grievance procedures. While some experts contend job enrichment will not ultimately work, others feel it has already proven itself; both conclusions are premature as more time is needed before passing judgment. (ELG)
Descriptors: Employee Attitudes, Employer Employee Relationship, Experiments, Failure, Humanization, Improvement, Job Development, Job Enrichment, Job Satisfaction, Labor Relations, Laborers, Opinions, Organizational Climate, Quality of Working Life, Research Projects, Specialization, Speeches, Success, Technology, Unions, Validity, Work Environment
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Illinois Humanities Council, Champaign.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Labor History Society, Chicago.