chapter  1
17 Pages

Introduction

BySUSAN MARLOW

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In a recent discussion paper pertaining to theoretical shifts and challenges in the study of the contemporary employment relationship, Edwards (2001:3) argues that ignoring emerging sectors of the economy and associated developments in management theory is blinkered and indeed, counterproductive. Whilst arguing that new areas for study and debate must be recognised, Edwards also states that these must be seen to be part of wider, established theoretical analyses in that, ‘tools such as the effort wage bargain (are) equally applicable’. Hence, it was suggested that whilst debate upon developments in labour management must have foundations set in fundamental terms and concepts, it must also recognise how particular situations and circumstances, such as firm size, will shape and influence the articulation of these concepts within the organisation. This book demonstrates the manner in which the size of the organisation influences the effort-wage bargain (Burowoy, 1979). Illustrated by the range of issues and arguments included within this text, it is evident that organisation size will affect the manner in which the employment relationship is managed. However, it is also acknowledged that size, whilst influential in shaping firm behaviour, will interact with a number of other extraneous elements such as market constraints, sector, location, age (amongst others). These will, in turn, interact with characteristics such as management styles, family dynamics, skill profiles, owner gender and ethnicity; the outcome of these complex interactions being varied and shifting employment relationships.