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The Meaning of Work : Papers on Work Organization and the Design of Jobs
Klein, Lisl
Routledge / Karnac / Softcover / 2008-07-01 / 1855753480
Psychoanalysis / Workplace / Organisations
reg price: $86.50 our price: $ 77.85 (may be subject to change)
336 pages
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This is the second volume about the two topics that have preoccupied the author for more than forty years. It is companion to the earlier book about the practice of social science in organizations, which was published under the title Working across the Gap (Karnac, 2005). Chronologically her interest in work, what it means and how it is organized came first, and how this came about will be part of the story. The two topics are both separate and joint. While the work on organization is not always concerned with job design and the organization of work, the converse does not apply: issues of work organization cannot be separated out from other issues of organization; working with them gets one into the methodological questions of using the social sciences; and many engagements with organizations in any case have more than one focus.

Lisl Klein worked in industry, on the shop floor, and in personnel management before moving into organization research. From 1965 to 1970 she was Social Sciences Adviser for Esso Petroleum Company Ltd. and, from 1971 to 1989, senior social scientist with the Tavistock Institute. She founded the Bayswater Institute in 1990. She was its Director until 2002 and is now Research Director and Visiting Professor at Kingston University. She has written or co-authored five books and some forty papers.


1. Introduction – the context; SECTION I: MAKING THE CASE: 2) The function of work in human life; 3) The meaning of work; 4) Luddism for the twenty-fi rst century; SECTION II: RESEARCH STUDIES: 5) The human implications of rationalising work; 6) Living and working in hospital wards using electronic patient records; SECTION III: CONSULTING AND ACTION RESEARCH: 7) The ‘Humanisation of Work’ programme in Germany;
8) Contribution to the design of a new confectionary factory; 9) Work organisation in the design of a new canning plant, Plant and job design and industrial relations; 10) Work organisation in branch banking; 11) Putting information and communications technology to work in the construction industry; SECTION IV: THE BOUNDARIES WITH OTHER PROFESSIONS: 12) The production engineer’s role in industrial relations; 13) ‘Satisfactions in work design’: some problems of theory and method; 14) The management of innovation –-from platitudes to reality in job design; 15) On the collaboration between social scientists and engineers SECTION V: AND FINALLY: 16) And finally – some reflections on institutions and policy.

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