chapter  2
161 Pages

Power in industrial relations

WithMichael Poole

In any significant debate concerning the form and content of workers' participation in decision making, there must arise broader issues about the exercise of power in industry and society at large. This chapter discusses that participation and control are important manifestations of fundamental processes involved in the exercise of power in society. In the literature to date, three main dimensions of power may be identified; first, manifest power; second, latent power and, third, values and ideologies as principal components of the legitimation of particular power distributions. The role of values in social action is a central issue in the social sciences, partly because of the dominance of 'idealistic' philosophical notions in western sociology, but also because it reflects a basic concern about the possibility of men actually shaping their own environment in the light of their powers of reason, rather than this being largely determined by forces of social evolution over which they have limited control.