Wolff shows why and how to make democratic workplaces real. He speaks to those who realize that capitalism economics and politics as usual have become intolerable and who seek a concrete action program.
Demonstrates how specific dimensions of democracy - participation, citizenship rights, and an inclusionary state - enhance human development and well-being.
The authors tell the story of a democratic workers' cooperative that makes hand-rolled cigarettes, known as "beedis," in the unorganized sector of a fiercely competitive capitalist economy in India. For decades, beedi workers have been among the most exploited and impoverished of India's work force. In 1969, in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, several thousand workers banded together to form a worker-owned beedi cooperative. The authors argue that their skill and determination, combined with Kerala's generally leftist political culture, allowed them to beat the odds. The cooperative surprised the private sector beedi barons by creating an enterprise that has lasted and prospered, offering the best wages and benefits in the business, while making a profit and contributing to the local economy. The authors analyze the major features of the cooperative, assessing its overall structure, worker-elected management, shop floor democracy, and progress in providing a better life for its worker-owners. Tensions are also discussed, including the complaints of women workers and the need for diversification from tobacco.
A concise overview of political and economic developments in Mexico, highlighting the challenges posed by the county's recent democratic breakthrough.
West Germany from 1949 to 1990 was a story of virtually unparalleled political and economic success. This economic miracle incorporated a well-functioning political democracy, expanded to include a social partnership system of economic representation. Then the Wall came down. Economic crisis in the East—industrial collapse, massive layoffs, a demoralized workforce—triggered gloomy predictions. Was this the beginning of the end for the widely admired German model? Lowell Turner has extensively researched the German transformation in the 1990s. Indeed, in 1993 he was at the factory gates at Siemens in Rostock for the first major strike in post-Cold War eastern Germany. In that strike, and in a series of other incisively analyzed workplace and job developments in eastern Germany, he shows the remarkable resilience and flexibility of the German social partnership and the contribution of its institutions to unification. His controversial and, to some, radical findings will stimulate debate at home and abroad. Moving from world markets to the shop floor, this book is an ambitious and comprehensive analysis of the fate of contemporary unions in industrial societies. The international results of intensified competition and technological advance have stimulated much policy debate, but Lowell Turner is interested in clarifying a phenomenon that is far less widely understood: the political effects of new work organization on labor and management. Noting that the same cluster of production innovation and technological change has produced widely contrasting crossnational industrial relations outcomes, Turner provides a detailed, systematic study of the politics of new work organization at selected auto plants in the United States and Germany. He then examines in a more schematic fashion the telecommunications and apparel industries of those countries, as well as developments elsewhere. Exploring diverse patterns of union-management relations, he demonstrates the importance of existing national institutions and patterns of labor-management-state bargaining as sources of variation in work reorganization and in the collective representation of workers' interests. Particular national institutions of worker interest representation, he argues, shape managerial decisions and hence national industry responses to intensified competition in world markets. His industry-by-industry comparison explains why the American labor movement has declined in influence over the last decade, while the labor movements in Germany and several other countries have not. Further observations on the situation in Britain, Italy, Sweden, and Japan give depth and specificity to the terms of his argument. Most important, perhaps, Turner's analysis shows the conditions necessary for stable industrial relations settlements and a resurgence of union influence in the contemporary world economy. As interest grows in international business and comparative industrial relations, Democracy at Work will attract the attention of political scientists, economists, sociologists, and industrial and labor relations specialists, as well as representatives of labor, business, and government.
Munch and his colleagues provide a comparative sociological study on how democracy works in the practice of political regulation regarding clean air in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United States. They argue that challenges of the established regulatory style and political order are pushing each country towards a more open democracy.
The shift from manufacturing- to service-based economies has often been accompanied by the expansion of low-wage and insecure employment. Many consider the effects of this shift inevitable. In Disintegrating Democracy at Work, Virginia Doellgast contends that high pay and good working conditions are possible even for marginal service jobs. This outcome, however, depends on strong unions and encompassing collective bargaining institutions, which are necessary to give workers a voice in the decisions that affect the design of their jobs and the distribution of productivity gains. Doellgast's conclusions are based on a comparative study of the changes that occurred in the organization of call center jobs in the United States and Germany following the liberalization of telecommunications markets. Based on survey data and interviews with workers, managers, and union representatives, she found that German managers more often took the "high road" than those in the United States, investing in skills and giving employees more control over their work. Doellgast traces the difference to stronger institutional supports for workplace democracy in Germany. However, these democratic structures were increasingly precarious, as managers in both countries used outsourcing strategies to move jobs to workplaces with lower pay and weaker or no union representation. Doellgast's comparative findings show the importance of policy choices in closing off these escape routes, promoting broad access to good jobs in expanding service industries.
Democracy at Work: Pressure and Propaganda in Portugal and Brazil addresses democracy both as an institutional value system and as a practice. How are the media exerting their mediation role? How are the media re-(a)presenting the political world to society? Are different media voices offering diversified and complementary perspectives on politics? How is propaganda perceived within different democratic and economic contexts? Is political trust and mistrust shaping the strategy of propaganda? These questions are addressed in theoretical and empirical chapters in a book that addresses problems which are in need of urgent discussion, as their impact and consequences are deeply transforming politics and the way politics is communicated, lived and understood by its main actors. Within this framework, Political Communication Studies has a major role in identifying and urging new diagnosis of, and insights into, the political and the media systems, and, above all, how both the people and political institutions can both survive crisis and improve democracy in the Lusophone world. This book aims at making a contribution to that acknowledgment.
As our world becomes more complex and uncertain it is crucial for both individuals and organizations to learn regularly and rigorously from their work to enable them to adapt rapidly, capably and continuously to their changing environments - giving them a much higher chance of surviving and developing.