chapter  8
22 Pages

The distribution of economic rewards

Power and material possessions have always been focal points of antagonism and opposition amongst human populations. In industrial relations, these potent sources of conflict have been expressed in a continuing struggle for control within the workplace, in perennial disputes over ownership, income and pay, and in the search for a lasting accommodation of interests by industrial democracy and distributive justice. Here the division of income between specific groups in the population, pay differentials, the rank order of occupations in terms of remuneration and the redistribution of income and wealth through welfare state expenditures are all assessed amongst nations in terms of the unified conceptual approach of the investigation as a whole.

A theory of the distribution of economic rewards The maintenance of a given distribution of economic rewards in any individual society is based on the extent to which economic efficiency or egalitarianism dominates the principles of allocation. But although variability is ultimately attributable to strategic choices, these are essentially shaped by 'subjective' meanings which focus orientations and outcomes (notably culture and ideology), coupled with the constraints of the wider environment (economic, political and socio-demographic), organizational structures (the impact of multinational corporations) and the distribution of power amongst the 'actors' and 'larger' society.