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April 30, 2018 / C H Thompson

Social control in the workplace

  • Abercrombie and Warde (2000) identified four types of ways in which the workforce is controlled:
  • 1. direct control – where owners or managers have direct control of their works. An example is in small businesses
  • 2. technical control – where a worker is given a set amount of tasks requiring little skill. For example working on a production line – a more familiar term for this is Fordism and Taylorism
  • 3. bureaucratic control – where a hierarchy of authority through rules, procedures etc controls the worker’s job. Such structures create competition between workers for promotion
  • 4. responsible autonomy – where workers, such as teachers, are given a degree of autonomy (freedom) to deliver lessons how they see fit due to the knowledge they hold. Sometimes referred to as professional autonomy



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