chapter  3
18 Pages

Efficiency and Effort Revisited: Emotional Labour and Contemporary Sociology of Work

Wilhelm Baldamus’s Efficiency and Effort (1961a) has become a classic of British sociology of work. Despite its age many of those involved in sociology of work in the UK will have read the book and noted its value as an attempt to systematise the examination of employees’ efforts in work situations, and as an analysis of how workplace controls are ordered and implemented; Baldamus sums up this process as the ‘effort bargain’, and shows how it is a complex process of contest and co-operation between management and workers. Given that the book’s central focus is on how the effort bargain is constructed and how this bargain is central to the organisation of industry, its longevity is understandable: the effort bargain is still at the core of industrial relations and the organisation of industry despite the many changes in modes and forms of work and employment that have arisen in the past four decades.